travel

EU to add Japan to safe travel list; leave UK off for now

21 Comments
By Philip Blenkinsop

The European Union is set to add Japan to its small list of "safe" countries from which it will allow non-essential travel, but will hold off opening the door to British tourists for now, EU sources said on Tuesday.

Ambassadors from the EU's 27 countries are expected to approve adding Japan at a meeting on Wednesday, while Britain will be left off because of a rise in COVID-19 cases due to an infectious coronavirus variant first identified in India.

Under current restrictions, people from only seven countries, including Australia, Israel and Singapore, can enter the EU on holiday, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated.

Individual EU countries can still choose to demand a negative COVID-19 test or a period of quarantine.

The EU last month eased criteria for adding new countries to the list, by changing to 75 from 25 the maximum number of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the previous 14 days. The trend should also be stable or decreasing, with variants of concern taken into account.

EU health experts considered both Japan and Britain at a meeting on Monday, but representatives from a number of countries voiced opposition to adding Britain now.

Cases of the Indian variant doubled last week and the government has said it is too early to say whether Britain can fully drop COVID-19 restrictions on June 21.

Depending on the course of the variant, Britain could still enter the safe travel list on June 14, when a larger number of countries are expected to be considered, EU sources said.

The list is designed to ensure consistency across the bloc, although that has been lacking.

France and Germany have imposed quarantines on UK visitors and Austria banned British tourists, while Portugal and Spain have started welcoming them.

Britain requires all EU visitors, except those from Portugal, to undergo quarantine.

© Thomson Reuters 2021.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

21 Comments
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Ha!

This doesn't make sense at all.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

I believe that a British passport holder resident in Japan would now be allowed to enter the EU if arriving from Japan.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Ha!

This doesn't make sense at all.

You beat me to it...I'm guessing this is political

7 ( +10 / -3 )

You beat me to it...I'm guessing this is political

No ! It isn't Japan is a better customer so carries higher priority , UK will be on the safe travel list on June the 14th.

"Depending on the course of the variant, Britain could still enter the safe travel list on June 14, when a larger number of countries are expected to be considered, EU sources said."

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Actually, smart move. EU loves good mannered Japanese tourist who spends more money than those loudy British tourist who spends very less money or just to take sunbathing only.

-11 ( +5 / -16 )

A British citizen in Japan can now fly to Portugal and then onto the UK but would have to remain in Portugal for two weeks to avoid UK quarantine.

"Spain has said it is officially lifting restrictions for UK travellers from Monday when a decree takes effect.

The government says the UK and Japan will be on a list of countries whose residents are able to avoid restrictions on non-essential travel to the EU. They will not need a PCR test.

UK tourists going to Spain will still have to quarantine on their return."

Unfortunately, these restrictions can change without notice.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It makes perfect sense. EU has never followed the approach to restrict human rights to eliminate the virus because they know it's impossible. You need to impose measures to lower the burden to the health system. So, in this respect it makes perfect sense to return some of the basic rights to the people.

What does NOT make sense is the return of Japan to pre-Meiji isolation. The only reason Japanese politicians are panicking is because they didn't do ANY precautions measures. They didn't increase ICU capacities, they didn't increase testing capacities and they are ranked 250th of 200 nations in vaccination speed. Their only answer is "stay home".

1 ( +4 / -3 )

What a joke. Good luck EU.

Btw, I have these magic beans for sale........

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I was born in UK Bromley, South London, I an a holder if a Japanese passport , I also have access to France and Germany thought business,

Get a flipping life. UK left the EU not Europe.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

No ! It isn't Japan is a better customer so carries higher priority , UK will be on the safe travel list on June the 14th.

Its not political, its about the money? Same deal. Its not based on science and which countries are doing better to battle the virus. But still its BS. The UK is still more important to the EU economically after Brexit than Japan. either way, this is not a decision based on science

1 ( +3 / -2 )

German and British tourist are the lifeblood of Spanish tourism. Last year put this sector into a big hole. Another year the same would be a death blow. Maybe not science but like many decisions made during the pandemic, they have to weigh up the pros and cons of every action. Will have to wait and see if this move was right.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

You beat me to it...I'm guessing this is political

My guess, actually I am 100% sure of it, is that it's somehow related to the Oympics travel.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Brexit than Japan. either way, this is not a decision based on science

Of course, not. If it were, the US advice against travel to Japan would not be based on science. One or neither is based on science. Both cannot be.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is excellent. Who says EU isn't still bitter about Brexit? Japan largely under SOE but EU happy to let ppl from Japan in? Not sure Japan wants travellers returning from RU as country after country locks down again.....

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@ Aly Rustom. I totally disagree. This is NOT a political move by the EU. The Kent variant has reached countries as far afield as Japan and Vietnam. Now the Indian variant ( in the UK) risks further threats to European countries and the rest of the world . Each country has the right to protect its citizens. Well done EU .

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Still a few months maybe before the moneyed and has leisure time age bracket could be fully vaccinated.

They can comfortably book travels meantime

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Seems vaccination has not affected most people's risk assessment of travelling

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Indian variant"? If you are sooo polite to China and avoid calling the thing "China virus", whey are you doing that to India?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Awesome Brexit dig.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

That's all very well, but will Japan reciprocate? I hear crickets.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I totally disagree. This is NOT a political move by the EU.

We definitely totally disagree there.

The Kent variant has reached countries as far afield as Japan and Vietnam.

exactly! so why is Japan considered safe while the UK isn't?

Now the Indian variant ( in the UK) risks further threats to European countries and the rest of the world . Each country has the right to protect its citizens. Well done EU .

the indian variant is in Japan

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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