Canadian travelers could be set to face tough new travel restrictions when trying to enter destinations across the European Union in the coming weeks. Whilst Canadians currently enjoy generally relaxed restrictions when making their way across the continent, the current Covid-19 situation in Canada has led to the EU reconsidering its whitelist, with Canada and several other countries set to pay the price – potentially scuppering travel plans of thousands of travelers.
However, Canadian travelers shouldn’t go ahead and change their travel plans just yet, with EU member states free to set their own restrictions and free to ignore that advice of the EU if they so wish to do so. Here’s a look at why Canada has found itself off the EU’s Travel Safe List in the first place, which countries are on the Travel Safe List and a closer look at the range of restrictions that Canadian travelers could be about to face.
Canada Removed From EU Whitelist – Information for Travelers
On Monday, the EU made an announcement that stated that Argentina, Australia and Canada should be removed from its Travel Safe List. The Travel Safe List is a list of countries that the EU proposes its member states should allow non-essential travel into the EU from. By removing Argentina, Australia and Canada from the list, the EU has effectively stated that it feels travelers from these countries should not be allowed to travel to the EU for non-essential reasons.
The decision to remove Argentina, Australia and Canada comes as part of the EU’s routine updates, with the Travel Safe List updated every two weeks. The full list of countries on the list at present is as follows:
Bahrain, Chile, Colombia, Indonesia, Kuwait, New Zealand, Peru, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay andChina, subject to confirmation of reciprocity.
In order to make the Travel Safe List, countries are judged on a selection of different criteria before a judgement is made. Such criteria includes:
- not more than 75 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the last 14 days
- a stable or decreasing trend of new cases over this period in comparison to the previous 14 days
- more than 300 tests per 100 000 inhabitants conducted over the previous seven days, if the data is available to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
- not more than 4% positive tests among all COVID-19 tests carried out in the previous seven days, if the data is available to the ECDC
- the nature of the virus present in a country, in particular whether variants of interest or concern have been detected
- the country’s overall response to COVID-19, taking into account available information, including on aspects such as 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)
As far as Canada is concerned, the country fails to meet several of the criteria outlined above, which explains why they have been removed from the list in the most recent update. The country is currently reporting as many as 7375 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, with the majority of cases being reported at present being cases of the Omicron variant.
However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that EU member states will flock to place restrictions on travelers from Canada just because of the update. Countries such as the UK and the US also find themselves off the Travel Safe List, yet travelers face few barriers when it comes to visiting the continent. Restrictions can change rapidly, and so travelers should ensure that checking the entry requirements of their European destination is amongst the first things they do when planning a trip.
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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