EU removes Serbia, Montenegro off list of countries approved for entry

European Union

The Council of the European Union (EU) on Thursday removed Serbia and Montenegro from its updated list of countries from where citizens are allowed to enter the bloc despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The latest list consists of all the other 13 non-EU countries in the original one and has no new recommendations for which the EU member states could lift the temporary travel restrictions. Both Serbia and Montenegro have witnessed an increasing number of new infections in the last days.

Serbia lifted the state of emergency on May 6 due to a favorable epidemic situation. However, a drastic increase in the number of confirmed cases has been witnessed after life got back to normal.

In the past several weeks, more than 20 municipalities and cities in the country declared local emergency and imposed mandatory wearing of masks, restricted gatherings and reduced opening hours for restaurants and bars.

On June 30, the Council recommended the lifting of travel restrictions for residents of Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay.

It also recommended that residents of China be allowed to travel to the EU, subject to confirmation of reciprocity. The Council said the criteria according to which the recommendations are made cover, in particular, the countries’ epidemiological situations and containment measures. The list of “safe” third countries is reviewed every two weeks.

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