Temporary emergency travel restrictions into the EU


The EU decided on an urgent temporary restriction on all travel

On 26 November 2021, in response to the emergence of the new COVID-19 variant "Omicron", EU countries decided to adopt an urgent, temporary restriction on all travel into the EU from the following countries:

  • Botswana
  • Eswatini
  • Lesotho
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • South Africa
  • Zimbabwe

This travel restriction, called 'emergency brake mechanism', involves suspending passenger flights from affected countries and discouraging travel to these countries for EU citizens. The emergency brake mechanism should not apply to EU citizens, long-term EU residents and certain categories of essential travellers, who should nevertheless be subject to appropriate testing and quarantine measures, even if fully vaccinated.

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Non-essential travel into the EU

Every two weeks EU Member States review and, where appropriate, update the list of non-EU countries from which non-essential travellers should be allowed.

This list as of December 2, 2021 includes the following countries:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Bahrain
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China (subject to confirmation of reciprocity)
  • Colombia
  • Indonesia
  • Kuwait
  • New Zealand
  • Peru
  • Qatar
  • Rwanda
  • Saudi Arabia
  • South Korea
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Uruguay

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Travel restrictions should also be gradually lifted for the special administrative regions of China Hong Kong and Macao.

Under the category of entities and territorial authorities that are not recognised as states by at least one EU Member State, travel restrictions for Taiwan should also be gradually lifted.

Residents of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican should be considered as EU residents in this context.

Schengen associated countries (Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) also take part in this recommendation.

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