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Canada Removed From EU Safe List

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Update October 21: Canada has officially been removed from the EU's ‘safe list', effective immediately. 

Since this article was published (On October 20) we have updated the title or this article from ‘may be removed', to removed

Now that Canada has been removed from the EU's ‘safe' list, Canadian travellers must remember that ALL nations within the EU are permitted to follow the suggestion made by the EU council, or decline to make the changes.

Essentially, that means that some countries will immediately ban Canadians, some might take a week or so to update their rules, and others may never enact the ban. 

If you are a Canadian resident and you are travelling to the EU within the next week or so, please contact the consulate for the country you wish to visit, and the border police to find out if you will face a ban or not. 

We have compiled a COMPLETE LIST of each EU nation and their official decision to either keep or remove Canada, with dates. 

Original article dated October 20th continues below….

Canada is a topic of discussion today at the deliberations in Brussels, specifically, if it should be left on the European Union’s ‘Safe List’, currently comprised of 11 third-party nations permitted to enter the EU.

Canada’s latest surge in cases has worsened its epidemiological situation to the point where the EU is considering axing it from the list.

Since July 1, 2020, Canadian travellers have been enjoying the privilege of being able to enter almost every EU nation with no restrictions, but that pass may soon be revoked.

Canadian tourist checking into flight

Back in July, when the EU made the decision to include Canada on the list of safe nations, cases numbers had dropped significantly, and stayed low for almost the entire summer. Then, in September, case numbers have been steadily rising, prompting concern in the EU.

Rising cases in Canada

It’s no wonder the EU wants to tighten restrictions, as second waves are hitting almost every European capital. Belgium just closed restaurants for the next 4 weeks, Italy mandated masks be worn both indoors and outdoors, and travel corridor lists have been shrinking at astonishing rates.

UK Removes Italy From Travel Corridor: Quarantine Now Required

So, what does this mean for Canadian travelers?

If Canada is removed from the EU’s safe list, then Canadian tourists will no longer be permitted into many European countries.

Currently, Canadians can travel to these follow EU nations:

  • Austria – YES as of September 28
  • Belgium – YES as of September 25
  • Bulgaria – YES as of July 16
  • Croatia – YES as of July 1 – 48 hour negative PCR test required
  • Cyprus – YES as of June 15 – 72 hour negative PCR test required
  • Czech Republic – YES as of July 15
  • Denmark – YES as of July 4
  • Estonia – YES as of July 6
  • France – YES as of July 1
  • Germany – YES as of July 2
  • Greece – YES as of July 1
  • Ireland – YES as of July 21 – 14-day quarantine required
  • Italy – YES as of July 1 – 14-day quarantine required
  • Latvia – YES as of July 1
  • Lithuania – YES as of July 15 – 14 day quarantine required
  • Luxembourg – YES as of July 1
  • Malta – YES as of July 1
  • Netherlands – YES as of July 1
  • Poland – YES as of July 15
  • Portugal – YES as of July 1
  • Romania – YES as of July 7
  • Slovakia – YES as of September 18
  • Slovenia – YES as of July 17 – 14-day quarantine required
  • Spain – YES as of July 2
  • Sweden – YES as of July 4

The only 2 EU nations Canadians cannot enter as of today’s rules are Finland and Hungary, due to those individual countries implementing more ‘closed-door’ policies to manage virus levels.

If the EU does in fact decide that Canada’s Covid-19 case numbers are too high to keep permitting residents unrestricted entry, all of the above nations could close their doors to Canadian tourists.

Removed From EU Safe List - Canada

The EU has already removed countries from the original 15-nation list created on July 1st, including Algeria, Montenegro, Morocco and Serbia, due to their unstable case numbers.

Talks in the EU today are not just focused on putting Canada on the chopping block but may also see Georgia and Tunisia removed as well. Officials who wish to stay anonymous told Bloomberg there could be a silver lining for a new third-party country, as Singapore is slated to be added to the safe list.

Singapore skyline

From the original 15 third-party nations, this next update might only see 8 remain, with a potential for 9 if Singapore is in fact added. The nations expected to remain are:

  • Australia
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Rwanda
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • Uruguay
  • China

The EU was expected to review the list of approved third-party countries every two weeks, but only did that through July. As of August, the list has only ever been updated once. This late-October review will be the first in months and could be devastating news for Canadian travellers.

Read More: See where in Europe Canadians can currently enter, ALL countries that have reopened for Canadians worldwide, and companies that offer Canadians travel insurance that covers Covid

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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.  Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories


Mike

Tuesday 17th of November 2020

What about a European / Canadian dual citizen who is going from Canada to Europe? Allowed in? Clearly European citizens cannot be denied entry to the EU.

Kashlee Kucheran

Tuesday 17th of November 2020

I think you just answered your own question ;) Yes, EU citizens are permitted to enter the EU at any time. But since you are coming from a country that is not permitted, there may be tests nad/or quarantines needed, depending what EU nation you are going to

James D. MacLeod

Thursday 29th of October 2020

Hi Kashlee I assume that after the cozy teleconference our PM had today (October 29th) with the EU leaders where everyone agreed to kiss and make up that this 'tit for tat' dispute about who can enter which country will get resolved by Monday. Not sure that the EU and some countries (Portugal in my case) have a full appreciation for just how much badly needed revenues will be lost this winter when they loose long time and long stay (3 to 4 months) visitors from Canada. Lets hope!

Tyler

Monday 26th of October 2020

Hi Kashlee

I just thought I'd let some people in here know that my girlfriend got into Athens airport via Zurich from Canada on a Canadian passport yesterday October 25th no problem. They didn't even check her passport (classic Greece). Just a covid test before security.

It may take some time for the Greek govt to actually release anything official. But people should look at moving there flights earlier if possible.

Hopefully some people can stress less than we did.

Kashlee Kucheran

Monday 26th of October 2020

Thank you so much for your update Tyler - glad she was able to get in!

V

Sunday 25th of October 2020

Kashlee, thank you for your prompt and informative reply. I am very saddened to hear this news.

Would you happen to know if this COVID test result IS or ISN'T needed to enter Portugal for Canadians up until October 31st? Some sites say no and then 1 says yes even if we are flying from Canada as a Canadian national, so I have no idea! Even my airline (TAP Portugal) says we do NOT need it, but at this point I don't know what to believe.

I ask this because it is next to impossible to receive the test result within 72hrs of my flight with the current backlog here in Ontario. Friends of mine have waited 3+ days at minimum. I will have to book a last minute flight within the next few days, so it is almost certain that I will be boarding with a covid test result later than 72hrs!

Thank you again for your help!

Kashlee Kucheran

Sunday 25th of October 2020

To all my knowledge, a test is NOT needed. To triple-check that info, ask your airline, as they would be the ones responsible for checking your test result papers upon departure at the airport, if it was in fact needed.

V

Sunday 25th of October 2020

I'm leaving for Portugal from Canada on November 3rd. I'm a Canadian citizen travelling for non-essential reasons, well to study Portuguese, but not at a university, just for the purpose of strengthening my Portuguese since I need it for work (I'm a teacher who primarily teaches Portuguese speakers). Nowhere does it say what is defined as "essential". My trip is a study/networking trip, but I work for myself and do not have an official company listed. I just run a little word of mouth tutoring business that funds my travel around the world. No idea if they will let me in at this point if they are banning non-essential travel on October 31st.

What are your specific sources pertaining to the ban for Portugal??

I called my airline (TAP Portugal), they have received no directives about this. The only directive they received was that on October 31st travel will be restricted WITHIN PORTUGAL for the Halloween weekend holiday since that's when family gatherings usually occur and spikes happen.

The REOPEN EUROPA website (link) says it was updated on the 10/23/2020 and Canadians are still permitted to fly to Portugal AND do not need a COVID test result prior to flying.

The IATA site (link) says we are still permitted to enter Portugal as of 10/20/2020.

I emailed the Lisbon consular at the Embassy of Canada and the SEF (PR Borders Service). I am STILL waiting on a reply.

Does anyone have CLEAR confirmation that Canadians will be banned from Portugal on October 31st? Literally nobody can confirm this information so I'm a little confused about how to proceed!

Kashlee Kucheran

Sunday 25th of October 2020

My source is the Portugese consulate who emailed me this, copy/pasted exactly: "However if you still decide to travel to Portugal, Canadians with non-essential travel are being allowed entry, coming from Canada, at the moment until October 31, 2020, according to Portuguese Border and Immigration authorities (SEF), and as legislated by Portuguese authorities"

To be super frank - Portugal was the WORST at updating their government sites back in June/July when they were reopening. It took MONTHS for them to get their stuff together. So I imagine this will not be any different. It will be an absolute cluster for weeks.