EU to Curb U.K. Travelers on Covid at End of Brexit Transition


© Bloomberg. A passenger passes the entrance to the departures area at London Gatwick Airport Ltd. in Crawley, U.K., on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020. The pandemic has put a third of all tourism jobs at risk, and airlines around the world have said they need as much as $200 billion in bailouts. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg


(Bloomberg) — The U.K. is set to join the U.S., Canada and most other countries whose residents are unwelcome visitors to the European Union because they haven’t sufficiently contained the coronavirus outbreak.

EU governments are making no changes to their common travel “white list” in the immediate run-up to Britain’s scheduled departure from the European single market on Friday, according to an official familiar with the matter.

That’s when the post-Brexit transition ends and the U.K. starts to be treated by the EU as any other country outside the bloc.

The EU currently recommends member states allow residents from just eight nations to visit without constraint. Getting on the list requires a decision by the bloc’s governments and is based on virus trends, which have been rising in the U.K. The eight are: Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.

While EU states set their own entry requirements, the 27-member group has sought a coordinated approach to limit external access while keeping internal borders open. The U.K., which left the EU on Jan. 31, has effectively been treated as a member during the Brexit transition period.

The EU recommended on July 1 that member states allow foreign visitors from 15 countries as part of a move to loosen coronavirus-triggered restrictions imposed in mid-March on non-essential travel to the bloc.

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Since then, Serbia, Montenegro, Algeria, Morocco, Canada, Tunisia, Georgia and Uruguay have been delisted and Singapore has been added. The EU normally reviews its list about every two weeks, with the most recent change being the removal of Uruguay in mid-December.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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