Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi left off EU list of states exempt from Covid-19 travel ban

The Orly airport, near Paris, resumed operations Friday after being closed for more than three months. The European Union wants to open up for summer travel starting July 1/ Christophe Petit Tesson/EPA

Even as the European Union reopens its borders from July, Kenyans, Tanzanians and Burundians will still not be able to travel as they are still blocked.

In the East African Community, only Rwanda and Uganda have been included in the 54 states  list  whose nationals can travel to the EU.

According Euronews sources, EU officials failed to agree on a common list of the countries that would definitely be banned from entering the block upon the border reopening but managed to create a list of those with a better epidemiological situation, the citizens of which will be able to enter Europe by the end of next week.

Nationals from Qatar, the US and Russia will only be able to enter Europe at a later date when their epidemiological situation improves.

“The European Union has an internal process to determine from which countries it would be safe to accept travellers,” EU Commission spokesman Eric Mamer said last Thursday, adding that its decisions are “based on health criteria.”

On June 11, the Commission presented its recommendation on the reopening of internal Schengen borders on June 15, so that Europeans can travel within the borderless area freely, just as they did before the pandemic hit.


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, partially based on the epidemiological situation in each third-country.

The criteria recommended by the commission includes the epidemiological situation and coronavirus response, the ability to apply containment measures during travel, an whether or not that country has lifted travel restrictions towards the EU.

Kenya’s cases have been on the rise, now over the 6,000 mark.

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