The European Union (EU) opened its borders again on July 1 after months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But there’s a catch.
Only 15 countries are allowed to begin flights into their member nations.
And Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country that has been deemed “safe” by the EU.
Here’s the full list of countries deemed COVID-19 “safe”:
- New Zealand
- South Korea
Noticeably excluded from the list are the United States and Russia.
Though it’s also included in the EU’s list, travelers from China will only be allowed to fly into the EU on the condition that Beijing opens its doors to EU residents in return, according to the Bangkok Post. The list is likely to be amended in the next two weeks.
The lift on the border restrictions has been made in an effort to help the continent’s tourism sector which has been struggling since the ban in non-essential travel was enforced mid-March.
But the decision by the European Council is not legally binding, so its up to the discretion of each EU member state to decide whether or not to open its borders.
The current COVID-19 situation in Thailand.
As of July 1, Thailand has reported 3,173 confirmed COVID-19 cases. The country has been successful in mitigating the spread of the coronavirus and has reported 3,059 recovery cases and 58 deaths.
It has also reported no local transmission in the past 36 days.
However, even with the drop in COVID-19 infections, officials are extending the country’s state of emergency for the third time to July 31.
Although lockdown restrictions have been loosened to restart Thailand’s economy, the government has cited the risk of a second wave of infections for retaining the emergency rules that have been imposed since March.
On a similar note, the World Health Organization (WHO) warns that the COVID-19 pandemic is “not even close to being over.
“Although many countries have made some progress, globally the pandemic is actually speeding up,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, according to the Chiang Rai Times.
Cover image sourced from Travel Daily Media.