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European Union slaps travel restrictions on arrivals from Thailand

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PHOTO: Dimitri Devuyst

Member states of the European Union have agreed to remove Thailand from the list of countries from which travellers can arrive freely during the pandemic. The EU operates a “green list” of countries, which are currently only around 20 in number. Visitors from these countries, which include the US, New Zealand, Canada, and Japan, can enter the EU without mandatory quarantine. Yesterday, EU members agreed to add Ukraine to the green list, while removing Thailand and Rwanda.

The updating of the EU list will impact on potential European travellers to Thailand’s Sandbox-style reopening plans for tourists, Phuket and Koh Samui for now.

The Bangkok Post reports that countries may be added to the green list if they report fewer than 75 Covid-19 infections per 100,000 people within the previous 14 days. On July 4, Ukraine’s figure was 18, while Thailand’s was 97.3 and Rwanda’s was 90.9. The EU has clarified that even if a country is on the green list, member states reserve the right to impose their own restrictions, including quarantine and mandatory testing, on travellers from those countries.

During the height of the pandemic, in March 2020, the EU shut its borders to non-essential travel but now regularly updates the list of countries from which people can enter, even if they are not vaccinated. Fully vaccinated people can enter the EU from any non-EU state. The list is constantly subject to change, with countries being added or removed based on the progress with vaccinations, the amount of testing being carried out, and how much trust the EU places in a country’s data.

According to the Bangkok Post, the EU green list currently includes Albania, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brunei, Canada, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro, New Zealand, Qatar, Moldova, North Macedonia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, and the US. China will be added to the list on condition that it returns the favour for travellers from the EU.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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