EU will not re-open borders to Russians at least until mid-August (unless they have private jets!) - TASS source
The European Union will remain closed to citizens of Europe’s largest country for at least another fortnight. That’s according to news agency TASS, citing a source in an EU member state’s delegation to Brussels.
Eurocrats will make their updated “white list” public in the coming days, and it won’t be revised again until mid-August, the source said. The EU began to reopen its borders on July 1 to visitors from selected countries that it believes have Covid-19 under control. Russia, along with the US and others, was excluded.
Nevertheless, Instagram users can openly see wealthy Russian citizens circumventing EU rules by flying into the bloc using private jets.
Somewhat ironically, Russia has a far lower per capita coronavirus infection rate than a number of EU member states, including Sweden, Spain, and Belgium.
“No, Russia will not be included in this list yet. Unfortunately, statistics say that it is too early,” TASS quoted its source as saying.
The diplomat said that the list, which now includes 13 countries, is unlikely be expanded at this time, and could even be shortened. The EU is currently still working on it, the official added.
“As we see, over the past two weeks, the situation in the world is uneasily developing,” the source explained. “In many countries, we see an increase in the number of infections, which, unfortunately, does not allow opening borders quickly, but, on the contrary, even forces us to take new measures.”
The EU Council approved the first version of the safe-travel list on June 20. It included 14 countries.
In mid-July, the EU Council reduced the list to 12 states by excluding Serbia and Montenegro. At the moment, travel to the bloc is allowed for residents of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Rwanda, Georgia and Uruguay.
The EU also put China on the initial list but noted that the borders would be opened on a condition of reciprocity. However, Beijing has not yet confirmed the opening of its frontiers to citizens of EU countries.
The document is recommendation-based, which means that EU states can open or close borders with any countries from the “white list” at their discretion. At the same time, EU members should not open borders with countries not included on the list.
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