EU opens borders for 54 countries….Ghana exempted from the list
The European Union (EU) will on July 1, open its external borders for 54 countries to enable its nationals travel to any EU country with Ghana being excluded from the list.
The countries including Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Australia, Bahamas,
Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada,
China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Dominica, Egypt, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guyana, India,
Others include Jamaica, Japan Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Mauritius, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Palau, Paraguay, Rwanda, Saint Lucia.
The rest are Serbia, South Korea, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vatican City, Venezuela, Vietnam and Zambia would be allowed to enter EU.
According to the spokesperson of EU Commission, Eric Mamer the decision was based on health criteria and the coronavirus situations of the exempted countries.
On June 11, the Commission presented its recommendation on the reopening of internal Schengen borders on June 15.
The recommendation was to enable Europeans to travel within the borderless area freely, just as they did during the pre-pandemic.
At the same time, the Commission recommended that the Member States should start allowing third-country nationals to enter the EU starting from July 1, gradually and partially, based on the epidemiological situation in each third-country.
The criteria in lifting the ban on travelling was strictly based on epidemiological situation and coronavirus response in countries, the ability to apply containment measures during travel, and whether or not that country has lifted travel restrictions towards the EU.
Based on these conditions, the Commission recommended that the nationals of the six Western Balkan countries should be the first to benefit from the abolishment of travel restrictions, all of which were in the above list.
Apart from Ghana, the list also excludes Nigeria, Togo, Sierra Leone, South Africa among other African countries.
According to sources of Euronews, EU officials failed to agree on a common list of countries which its citizens could be banned definitely from entering the block upon the border reopening but managed to create a list of the countries with a better epidemiological situation.
The same sources also confirmed that citizens of Brazil, Qatar, the United States of America and Russia would be allowed to travel Europe at a later date when the coronavirus situation in the country improves.
BY JOYCELINE NATALLY CUDJOE