A Brussels body has recommended that the UAE and Bahrain be added to the EU’s advisory list of third countries for which Covid-19 travel restrictions can be lifted.
It means the UAE and Bahrain join only 14 other non-EU or Schengen Area countries on the list, including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, Australia and Canada. The criteria for the removal of restrictions takes into account the epidemiological situation in the third countries and "overall response to Covid-19, as well as the reliability of the available information and data sources”, the Council said.
Its recommendation is not legally binding and the decision for entry ultimately lies with each member state. “Reciprocity should also be taken into account on a case-by-case basis,” it said.
In effect, the Council has recommended that travellers from the UAE and Bahrain be allowed entry into the EU for non-essential travel, even if they are unvaccinated.
Entry for non-essential reasons from countries not on the list is still allowed, but only if the traveller has received a Covid inoculation from either a vaccine manufacturer approved by the European Medicines Agency or which has completed the emergency use listing process of the World Health Organisation, at least 14 days before arrival.
All travellers must have tested negative for Covid-19 by a PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before, regardless of their reason for entry.