Coronavirus (COVID-19) - European Union | Last Updated 22 January 2021

In light of the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak we would like to reassure you that Croatia Times Travel understands that you may have concerns about continuing with an upcoming holiday or booking new travel. Please be assured that we are keeping up to date with the latest health advisories to our key destinations and will be posting relevant updates here. Although the information we provide is current at the time of posting, the situation is evolving daily and please always check with Safetravel NZ, government advisories and World Health Organisation (WHO) for the latest health and travel advice.

17 December 2020 - European Council Website | Travel restrictions: Council reviews the list of third countries for which restrictions on non-essential travel should be lifted

Following a review under the recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU, the Council updated the list of countries for which travel restrictions should be lifted. As stipulated in the Council recommendation, this list will continue to be reviewed regularly and, as the case may be, updated.

Based on the criteria and conditions set out in the recommendation, as from 16 December member states should gradually lift the travel restrictions at the external borders for residents of the following third countries:

▪ Australia
▪ Japan
▪ New Zealand
▪ Rwanda
▪ Singapore
▪ South Korea
▪ Thailand
▪ China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity

Travel restrictions should also be gradually lifted for the special administrative regions of China Hong Kong and Macao, subject to confirmation of reciprocity.

Residents of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican should be considered as EU residents for the purpose of this recommendation.

The criteria to determine the third countries for which the current travel restriction should be lifted cover in particular the epidemiological situation and containment measures, including physical distancing, as well as economic and social considerations. They are applied cumulatively. Reciprocity should also be taken into account regularly and on a case-by-case basis.

Schengen associated countries (Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) also take part in this recommendation.

> Council Recommendation amending Council Recommendation (EU) 2020/912 on the temporary restriction on non-essential travel into the EU and the possible lifting of such restriction

Background
On 16 March 2020, the Commission adopted a communication recommending a temporary restriction of all non-essential travel from third countries into the EU for one month. EU heads of state or government agreed to implement this restriction on 17 March. The travel restriction was extended for a further month respectively on 8 April 2020 and 8 May 2020.

On 11 June the Commission adopted a communication recommending the further extension of the restriction until 30 June 2020 and setting out an approach for a gradual lifting of the restriction on non-essential travel into the EU as of 1 July 2020.

On 30 June the Council adopted a recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU, including an initial list of countries for which member states should start lifting the travel restrictions at the external borders. The list is reviewed regularly and, as the case may be, updated.

The Council recommendation is not a legally binding instrument. The authorities of the member states remain responsible for implementing the content of the recommendation. They may, in full transparency, lift only progressively travel restrictions towards countries listed.

A Member State should not decide to lift the travel restrictions for non-listed third countries before this has been decided in a coordinated manner.

> Council recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU, 30 June 2020
> Travel restrictions: Council reviews the list of third countries for which restrictions should be lifted (press release, 22 October 2020)
> COVID-19: travel and transport (background information)

Source: European Union | European Council | Press release | 17 December 2020 | https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2020/12/17/travel-restrictions-council-reviews-the-list-of-third-countries-for-which-restrictions-on-non-essential-travel-should-be-lifted/


22 October 2020 - European Council Website | Travel restrictions: Council reviews the list of third countries for which restrictions should be lifted

Following a review under the recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU, the Council updated the list of countries for which travel restrictions should be lifted. As stipulated in the Council recommendation, this list will continue to be reviewed regularly and, as the case may be, updated.

Based on the criteria and conditions set out in the recommendation, as from 22 October member states should gradually lift the travel restrictions at the external borders for residents of the following third countries:

▪ Australia
▪ Japan
▪ New Zealand
▪ Rwanda
▪ Singapore
▪ South Korea
▪ Thailand
▪ Uruguay
▪ China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity

Travel restrictions should also be gradually lifted for the special administrative regions of China Hong Kong and Macao, subject to confirmation of reciprocity.

Residents of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican should be considered as EU residents for the purpose of this recommendation.

The criteria to determine the third countries for which the current travel restriction should be lifted cover in particular the epidemiological situation and containment measures, including physical distancing, as well as economic and social considerations. They are applied cumulatively. Reciprocity should also be taken into account regularly and on a case-by-case basis.

Schengen associated countries (Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) also take part in this recommendation.

> Council Recommendation amending Council Recommendation (EU) 2020/912 on the temporary restriction on non-essential travel into the EU and the possible lifting of such restriction

Background
On 16 March 2020, the Commission adopted a communication recommending a temporary restriction of all non-essential travel from third countries into the EU for one month. EU heads of state or government agreed to implement this restriction on 17 March. The travel restriction was extended for a further month respectively on 8 April 2020 and 8 May 2020.

On 11 June the Commission adopted a communication recommending the further extension of the restriction until 30 June 2020 and setting out an approach for a gradual lifting of the restriction on non-essential travel into the EU as of 1 July 2020.

On 30 June the Council adopted a recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU, including an initial list of countries for which member states should start lifting the travel restrictions at the external borders. The list is reviewed every two weeks and, as the case may be, updated.

The Council recommendation is not a legally binding instrument. The authorities of the member states remain responsible for implementing the content of the recommendation. They may, in full transparency, lift only progressively travel restrictions towards countries listed.

A Member State should not decide to lift the travel restrictions for non-listed third countries before this has been decided in a coordinated manner.

> Council recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU, 30 June 2020
> Lifting of travel restrictions: Council reviews the list of third countries (press release, 7 August 2020)
> COVID-19: travel and transport (background information)

Source: European Union | European Council | Press release | 22 October 2020 | https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2020/10/22/travel-restrictions-council-reviews-the-list-of-third-countries-for-which-restrictions-should-be-lifted/


07 August 2020 - European Council Website | Lifting of travel restrictions: Council reviews the list of third countries

Following a review under the recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU, the Council updated the list of countries for which travel restrictions should be lifted. As stipulated in the Council recommendation, this list will continue to be reviewed regularly and, as the case may be, updated.

Based on the criteria and conditions set out in the recommendation, as from 08 August member states should gradually lift the travel restrictions at the external borders for residents of the following third countries:

▪ Australia
▪ Canada
▪ Georgia
▪ Japan
▪ New Zealand
▪ Rwanda
▪ South Korea
▪ Thailand
▪ Tunisia
▪ Uruguay
▪ China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity

Residents of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican should be considered as EU residents for the purpose of this recommendation.

The criteria to determine the third countries for which the current travel restriction should be lifted cover in particular the epidemiological situation and containment measures, including physical distancing, as well as economic and social considerations. They are applied cumulatively.

Regarding the epidemiological situation, third countries listed should meet the following criteria, in particular:

▪ number of new COVID-19 cases over the last 14 days and per 100,000 inhabitants close to or below the EU average (as it stood on 15 June 2020)
▪ stable or decreasing trend of new cases over this period in comparison to the previous 14 days
▪ overall response to COVID-19 taking into account available information, including on aspects such as testing, surveillance, contact tracing, containment, treatment and reporting, as well as the reliability of the information and, if needed, the total average score for International Health Regulations (IHR). Information provided by EU delegations on these aspects should also be taken into account.

Reciprocity should also be taken into account regularly and on a case-by-case basis.

For countries where travel restrictions continue to apply, the following categories of people should be exempted from the restrictions:

▪ EU citizens and their family members
▪ long-term EU residents and their family members
▪ travellers with an essential function or need, as listed in the Recommendation.

Schengen associated countries (Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) also take part in this recommendation.

Next steps

The Council recommendation is not a legally binding instrument. The authorities of the member states remain responsible for implementing the content of the recommendation. They may, in full transparency, lift only progressively travel restrictions towards countries listed.

A Member State should not decide to lift the travel restrictions for non-listed third countries before this has been decided in a coordinated manner.

This list of third countries should continue to be reviewed regularly and may be further updated by the Council, as the case may be, after close consultations with the Commission and the relevant EU agencies and services following an overall assessment based on the criteria above.

Travel restrictions may be totally or partially lifted or reintroduced for a specific third country already listed according to changes in some of the conditions and, as a consequence, in the assessment of the epidemiological situation. If the situation in a listed third country worsens quickly, rapid decision-making should be applied.

Background

On 16 March 2020, the Commission adopted a communication recommending a temporary restriction of all non-essential travel from third countries into the EU for one month. EU heads of state or government agreed to implement this restriction on 17 March. The travel restriction was extended for a further month respectively on 08 April 2020 and 08 May 2020.

On 11 June the Commission adopted a communication recommending the further extension of the restriction until 30 June 2020 and setting out an approach for a gradual lifting of the restriction on non-essential travel into the EU as of 01 July 2020.

On 30 June the Council adopted a recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU, including an initial list of countries for which member states should start lifting the travel restrictions at the external borders. This list was updated on 16 July and 30 July.

▪ Council recommendation amending the recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU
▪ Council recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU, 30 June 2020

Source: European Union | European Council | Press release | 07 August 2020 | https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2020/08/07/lifting-of-travel-restrictions-council-reviews-the-list-of-third-countries/


30 June 2020 - EU External Action Website | EU agrees to reopen borders for Montenegro and 13 more countries from 01 July 2020

The Council agrees to start lifting travel restrictions

The European Council today adopted a recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU. Travel restrictions should be lifted for countries listed in the recommendation, with this list being reviewed and, as the case may be, updated every two weeks.

Based on the criteria and conditions set out in the recommendation, as from 01 July member states should start lifting the travel restrictions at the external borders for residents of the following third countries:

Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity, while residents of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican should be considered as EU residents for the purpose of this recommendation.

The criteria to determine the third countries for which the current travel restriction should be lifted cover in particular the epidemiological situation and containment measures, including physical distancing, as well as economic and social considerations. They are applied cumulatively.

Regarding the epidemiological situation, third countries listed should meet the following criteria, in particular:

▪ number of new COVID-19 cases over the last 14 days and per 100 000 inhabitants close to or below the EU average (as it stood on 15 June 2020)
▪ stable or decreasing trend of new cases over this period in comparison to the previous 14 days
▪ overall response to COVID-19 taking into account available information, including on aspects such as testing, surveillance, contact tracing, containment, treatment and reporting, as well as the reliability of the information and, if needed, the total average score for International Health Regulations (IHR). Information provided by EU delegations on these aspects should also be taken into account.
▪ Reciprocity should also be taken into account regularly and on a case-by-case basis.

For countries where travel restrictions continue to apply, the following categories of people should be exempted from the restrictions:

▪ EU citizens and their family members
▪ long-term EU residents and their family members
▪ travellers with an essential function or need, as listed in the Recommendation.
▪ Schengen associated countries (Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) also take part in this recommendation.

Next steps

The Council recommendation is not a legally binding instrument. The authorities of the member states remain responsible for implementing the content of the recommendation. They may, in full transparency, lift only progressively travel restrictions towards countries listed. A Member State should not decide to lift the travel restrictions for non-listed third countries before this has been decided in a coordinated manner.

This list of third countries should be reviewed every two weeks and may be updated by the Council, as the case may be, after close consultations with the Commission and the relevant EU agencies and services following an overall assessment based on the criteria above.

Travel restrictions may be totally or partially lifted or reintroduced for a specific third country already listed according to changes in some of the conditions and, as a consequence, in the assessment of the epidemiological situation. If the situation in a listed third country worsens quickly, rapid decision-making should be applied.

Background

On 16 March 2020, the Commission adopted a communication recommending a temporary restriction of all non-essential travel from third countries into the EU for one month. EU heads of state or government agreed to implement this restriction on 17 March. The travel restriction was extended for a further month respectively on 8 April 2020 and 8 May 2020.

On 11 June the Commission adopted a communication recommending the further extension of the restriction until 30 June 2020 and setting out an approach for a gradual lifting of the restriction on non-essential travel into the EU as of 01 July 2020. Discussions have since then taken place between member states on the criteria and methodology to be applied.

Source: European Union | External Action | News release | 30 June 2020 | https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/81808/eu-agrees-reopen-borders-montenegro-and-13-more-countries-1-july_en


11 June 2020 - EU Commission Website | Commission recommends gradual lifting of travel restrictions

Coronavirus: Commission recommends partial and gradual lifting of travel restrictions to the EU after 30 June, based on common coordinated approach

Today the Commission recommends to Schengen Member States and Schengen Associated States to lift internal border controls by 15 June 2020 and to prolong the temporary restriction on non-essential travel into the EU until 30 June 2020; and sets out an approach to progressively lifting the restriction afterwards.

Given that the health situation in certain third countries remains critical, the Commission does not propose a general lifting of the travel restriction at this stage. The restriction should be lifted for countries selected together by Member States, based on a set of principles and objective criteria including the health situation, the ability to apply containment measures during travel, and reciprocity considerations, taking into account data from relevant sources such as ECDC and WHO.

Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, said: “Following the lifting of all internal border checks inside the Union, we are proposing a clear and flexible approach towards removing restrictions on travel to the EU starting on 1 July. International travel is key for tourism and business, and for family and friends reconnecting. While we will all have to remain careful, the time has come to make concrete preparations for lifting restrictions with countries whose health situation is similar to the EU's and for resuming visa operations.”

Gradually removing restrictions on travel to the EU

Actions at the EU's external borders must be coordinated and uniform to be effective. As travellers entering the EU can move freely from one country to another, it is crucial that Member States coordinate their decisions on lifting travel restrictions. This is why Member States should agree on a common list of non-EU countries for which travel restrictions can be lifted as of 01 July, to be reviewed on a regular basis. To this end, the Commission proposes:

▪ Objective criteria: The decision to lift restrictions for a specific country should be based on the epidemiological situation and coronavirus response in that country, the ability to apply containment measures during travel, and whether or not that country has lifted travel restrictions towards the EU. Restrictions should be lifted first with countries whose epidemiological situation is similar to the EU average and where sufficient capabilities to deal with the virus are in place. Restrictions should remain in place for countries whose situation is worse than in the EU. The Commission proposes a detailed checklist to help Member States reach a common assessment. Decisions on lifting travel restrictions would concern non-EU nationals residing in a specific country (not its nationals).
▪ Common and coordinated approach: The Commission proposes a coordination mechanism whereby it would support Member States and Schengen Associated States at technical level and facilitate the preparation of a list of countries for which travel restrictions could be lifted. Decisions on lifting restrictions should then be prepared with Member States under the EU's integrated political crisis response mechanism. Member States should adopt such decisions in a coordinated manner and ensure uniform application across the EU. This will be a dynamic process and the integrated political crisis response mechanism would need to coordinate further updates.
▪ Flexibility: It will be possible to reintroduce travel restrictions for a specific country if the criteria are no longer met. In addition, Member States can still refuse entry to a non-EU traveller presenting a threat to public health, even coming from a country for which restrictions were lifted.

Where the travel restrictions continue to apply, Member States should ensure that those travelling to study are exempted, together with highly skilled non-EU workers if their employment is necessary from an economic perspective and the work cannot be postponed or performed abroad. EU citizens and citizens of Schengen Associated States and non-EU nationals legally residing in the EU, as well as their family members, should also be exempt from the travel restriction regardless of whether or not they are returning home, as was the case until now.

In the roadmap on lifting containment measures presented on 15 April, the Commission indicated that travel restrictions within the EU would need to start being lifted gradually before restrictions at the external borders can be relaxed in a second stage. This is now well under way, with several Member States having already lifted restrictions within the EU and others planning to do so as of 15 June 2020.

For More Information
▪ Communication on the third assessment of the application of the temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU, 11 June 2020
▪ Checklist to be used for the possible lifting of the temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU, 11 June 2020
▪ Guidance for a phased and coordinated resumption of visa operations, 11 June 2020

For full press release visit:

Source: European Union | European Commission | Press release | 11 June 2020 | Brussels | https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_1035


TRAVEL INSURANCE
New Zealander’s travelling or living in European destinations should have comprehensive medical and travel insurance policies in place that include provision for medical evacuation by air. Some insurance policies are now providing medical cover related to coronavirus while overseas.


For up to date information and advice please refer to the following websites:

USEFUL LINKS

New Zealand - Dedicated Healthline 0800 number for COVID-19 health advice and information
The number is 0800 358 5453 (or for international SIMs +64 9 358 5453)
It is free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

New Zealand Government - Unite Against COVID-19
https://covid19.govt.nz/

Immigration New Zealand - COVID-19
https://www.immigration.govt.nz/about-us/covid-19

SafeTravel NZ - Official advice for New Zealanders living & travelling overseas
https://www.safetravel.govt.nz/

Visit World Health Organisation for useful reading on the Coronavirus (COVID-2019):
Q&A on travelling during the coronavirus (COVID-2019) outbreak
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/travel-advice

Coronavirus disease (COVID-2019) situation reports (updated daily)
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports

Visit the Ministry of Health for the current situation on COVID-19 in New Zealand:
https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus

European Union - Re-open EU
The European Union, and all of its member states, are planning for a safe re-opening of Europe. This interactive tool provides you with the information that you need to confidently plan your European travel and holidays, while staying healthy and safe. The information is frequently updated and available in 24 languages for your convenience.
https://reopen.europa.eu/en/

European Centre for Disease Prevention & Control
https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en

International Air Transport Association (IATA)
https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/international-travel-document-news/1580226297.htm
https://www.iata.org/en/programs/safety/health/diseases/government-measures-related-to-coronavirus/


DISCLAIMER
Due to the everchanging nature of the situation, we cannot be held responsible for any changes or information that have not been reported. Although the information we provide is current at the time of posting, the situation is evolving daily and please always check with SafeTravel NZ, NZ Government Unite Against COVID-19, local government advisories and World Health Organisation (WHO) for the latest health and travel advice. All information is taken from the source links and all external links provided are not updated by Croatia Times Travel and Croatia Times Travel cannot be held accountable for their accuracy.