EU takes Japan off Covid-19 safe travel list

The move is the latest step by Brussels to tighten up on arrivals as concern mounts over rising infection numbers.
The move is the latest step by Brussels to tighten up on arrivals as concern mounts over rising infection numbers.PHOTO: REUTERS

BRUSSELS (AFP) - European Union ambassadors on Wednesday (Sept 8) agreed to remove six countries, including Japan, from the bloc's Covid-19 safe travel list, meaning tourists entering could face restrictions, diplomats said.

The move targeting non-essential travel from Japan, Serbia, Azerbaijan, Albania, Armenia, and Brunei - set to be formalised this week - is the latest step by Brussels to tighten up on arrivals as concern mounts over rising infection numbers.

At the same time, envoys agreed to add Uruguay to those countries for which restrictions are not recommended.

The list is not binding on the EU's 27 nations, which may choose to allow fully vaccinated travellers from any destination to visit.

Most EU members have followed Brussels' travel advice during the crisis so far.

Brussels late last month recommended that capitals reimpose restrictions on non-essential travel from the United States over rising Covid-19 figures there as its vaccination drive has stalled.

Once the latest changes come into force, there will be around a dozen countries on the EU's Covid-safe list.