Europe is opening up from July 1. Indians are not welcome for now

The European Union has unveiled plans to open up their external borders as of today as a part of a plan to gradually lift the EU travel restrictions. As a group of countries working in tandem, the EU recommendations affect the individual country’s decision making on residents of which external countries will be allowed for non-essential travel into the EU.

The criteria to determine the non-EU countries for which the current travel restriction should be lifted cover, in particular, the epidemiological situation and containment measures, including physical distancing, as well as economic and social considerations. They are applied cumulatively in the decisionmaking.

Regarding the epidemiological situation, the Non-EU countries listed should meet the following criteria, in particular:

  • number of new COVID-19 cases over the last 14 days and per 100,000 inhabitants close to or below the EU average (as it stood on June 15, 2020)
  • a stable or decreasing trend of new cases over this period in comparison to the previous 14 days
  • overall response to COVID-19 taking into account available information, including on aspects such as testing, 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). Information provided by EU delegations on these aspects should also be taken into account.

Reciprocity was also taken into account regularly and on a case-by-case basis. This list is expected to be reviewed every two weeks.

It is no surprise then that residents of USA and India, amongst most countries in the world, were left out of the mix. While the EU is a hugely popular travel spot for the summers, just going by the principle of reciprocity itself, these countries are left out. But on a broader level, they both have a large number of cases and have not been able to put a lid on the spread of the virus yet.

Residents of these countries will be allowed to enter the EU.

As a first step, a list of 15 countries has been drawn up by the EU, whose residents will be allowed into the EU borders.

  • Algeria
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Georgia
  • Japan
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • New Zealand
  • Rwanda
  • Serbia
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • Tunisia
  • Uruguay
  • China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity

These recommendations apply to Schengen associated countries, such as Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Lichenstein. For these recommendations, residents of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican, should be considered EU residents.

Since these requirements apply to residents, and not citizens, it might mean an Indian passport holder but resident in Japan could enter the EU, but not a Japanese citizen resident in India.

Exceptions apply

The travel restrictions provided above are based on your country of residency, however, this does not bar the following set of people to come into the EU.

  • EU citizens and their family members
  • Long-term EU residents and their family members
  • Travellers with an essential function or need

Recommendations, not Restrictions

The Council recommendation is not a legally binding instrument. The authorities of the member states remain responsible for implementing the content of the guidance. They may, in full transparency, lift only progressively travel restrictions towards countries listed.

A Member State should not decide to lift the travel restrictions for non-listed third countries before this has been decided in a coordinated manner, but they could do so in their own right. However, how this will be controlled at the overall border level of each country remains to be seen.


As one of the largest coordinated blocs in the world, and one of the busiest business/travel avenues of the world, it is encouraging to see the EU get ready for a travel life with CoVid-19. The list is subject to change and is planned to be reviewed every couple of weeks. However, for those of you who have a vacation or work trip and are holding on to your hopes, I think it will be a while before India gets on that list!

Liked our articles and our efforts? Please pay an amount you are comfortable with; an amount you believe is the fair price for the content you have consumed. Please enter an amount in the box below and click on the button to pay; you can use Netbanking, Debit/Credit Cards, UPI, QR codes, or any Wallet to pay. Every contribution helps cover the cost of the content generated for your benefit.

(Important: to receive confirmation and details of your transaction, please enter a valid email address in the pop-up form that will appear after you click the ‘Pay Now’ button. Even though the amount you enter has to be in INR, you may use an international card to process the transaction.)

We are not putting our articles behind any paywall where you are asked to pay before you read an article. We are asking you to pay after you have read the article if you are satisfied with the quality and our efforts.

About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

More articles by Ajay »


  1. Hopefully this is permanent. Outside of tourism, there is no reason for flights between India and Europe. Tourism shouldn’t resume for a year until the Wuhan Virus ends.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.