Algerians are once again subject to a ban on non-essential travel into the European Union amid a surge in coronavirus cases in the North African country.
EU member states signed off the move on Thursday, after conducting their twice-monthly assessment of the epidemiological situation of different non-EU states and updating the list of countries from which travel to the bloc is allowed.
The change takes effect on Friday and means that residents of only 11 non-EU countries – Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay – will be exempt from restrictions. China also makes the cut, if a pending reciprocal agreement for EU residents is approved.
However, final responsibility for implementing the changes lies with the member states.
Algeria has seen an upward trend in the number of new coronavirus infections in recent weeks. The country has recorded a total of 29,831 confirmed cases and 1,200 deaths, compared to 20,216 cases and 1,028 deaths on July 14.
The development has prompted the government to impose lockdown measures and a night-time curfew on 29 out of the country’s 48 provinces.
The EU’s list of countries exempt from restrictions is largely based on whether a country’s number of new coronavirus infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the past 14 days is close to or below the EU average.
There are exceptions, for example for EU citizens and their families or for those travelling due to an emergency, who are in one of the non-approved countries.
Serbia and Montenegro were dropped from the list of allowed countries earlier this month.