The Council of the European Union this week approved the lifting of temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU, allowing travelers from 14 countries to fly into the union.
The U.S. was not among them.
The 14 approved countries are Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. China was also approved, subject to confirmation of reciprocity.
The council said the approved list will be reviewed and updated every two weeks. The criteria for approval include: that the number of new COVID-19 cases over the last 14 days and per 100,000 inhabitants be close to or below the EU average, and that the country have a stable or decreasing trend of new cases over this period compared to the previous two weeks.
The criteria also factor in other available information from the individual countries, including testing, surveillance, contact tracing, containment, treatment and reporting, as well as the reliability of the information. Reciprocity should also be taken into account regularly and on a case-by-case basis, the EU added.
For countries where travel restrictions still apply, the union continues to allow arrival from EU citizens and their family members, long-term EU residents and their family members, and travelers with an essential function or need as determined by EU criteria.
The EU stressed that these are recommendation that are not legally binding, adding that each member state remains responsible for implementing the content of the recommendation.