Travelling to countries in the European Union just got harder! The E.U.’s safe travel list has been updated and Canada didn’t make the cut. That said, this doesn’t mean visiting Europe is totally impossible.
Back in June, the E.U. released a list of countries whose residents were permitted to visit Europe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Canada was one of just fourteen countries that were granted entry with almost no restrictions, alongside places like Australia, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Thailand and more.
However, the E.U.’s list has since been updated and Canada was officially kicked off the list on October 22.
While things are certainly going to be more difficult, this doesn't mean a trip to Europe is totally out of the question.
What is the E.U. safe travel list?
The European Union is a political and economic union of 27 different countries, primarily located in Europe.
It consists of places like France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Greece and more.
Earlier this year, the group released a list of countries that were deemed low-risk for travel amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The safe travel list allowed selected countries to visit E.U. spots with limited or no travel restrictions, including no mandatory isolation or testing in some cases.
Fifteen countries were originally permitted, including Canada, but this was reduced to just eleven in August.
On October 22, the list was updated once again. This time, Canada, Tunisia and Georgia were all removed, while Singapore was added.
Why did Canada get removed?
According to the E.U.’s notice, the safe travel list gets reviewed every two weeks.
While specific information about why Canada may have been removed was not shared as part of the statement, it’s likely due to the country’s recent surge of COVID-19 cases.
Per a report from CBC News, the E.U. considers a number of factors when compiling the list, including containment efforts, the number of cases per 100,000 in the population, the amount of daily testing and more.
The updated list was published in the same week that Canada broke its daily record for new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours.
Can I travel to Europe at all?
If you’re really desperate to get to Europe, the good news is that it’s still possible.
“The Council recommendation is not a legally binding instrument,” explains the E.U. in their notice.
This means that each member state can make their own decision with regards to whether or not they stick with the recommended list.
That said, restrictions could include a full two-week quarantine upon arrival in Europe, and you'd have to quarantine upon return, too.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that Canada remains under an advisory from the federal government as officials continue to advise against all non-essential international travel.
*This article's cover image is for illustrative purposes only.