Australians wanting to travel to Europe may have to rethink where they’d like to go, with the European Union declaring Australia as a ‘Covid danger zone’ due to its surging Omicron case numbers.
The European Council has removed Australia from its ‘white list’, a register of countries from which it recommends travel restrictions should be lifted.
The European Council has listed Australia, Canada and Argentina as high-risk countries, recommending to EU countries, including France and Spain, to block visitors from Australia entirely or impose tougher restrictions, including quarantine and testing requirements.
The restrictions will be placed on Australian travellers, regardless of their vaccination status and despite these countries having a higher number of daily cases.
The white list removal comes after the US Centre for Disease Control warned Americans against travelling to Australia.
The ‘white list’ decision is non-binding and is set to be reviewed every two weeks.
According to an article by The Guardian, the chief executive of Flight Centre, Graham Turner, says the removal of Australia from the EU white list will have “minimal effect on vaccinated Australians travelling to Europe”.
He said, “each EU country has their own protocols and if you are vaccinated most do not require pre-departure testing and isolation at arrival.”
Skroo believes the indications are that within three to six weeks Australians will be able to fly to North America and UK/Europe without pre-departure tests and tourists will be able to fly here under the same conditions.
Cyprus, Greece and Italy have already said they will not restrict travellers from Australia and the removal of Australia on the ‘white list’ will not affect travellers entering the UK.
The UK is currently open to quarantine-free travel from all countries and will also be relaxing its travel rules further from 11 February.
In Europe, there are more cases per 100,000 people in Italy, Spain, Sweden, Norway, France, Denmark, Switzerland, Italy and Portugal.
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