EU set to lift travel restrictions for Hongkongers

Hong Kong | 16 Jun 2021 6:25 pm

The European Union has agreed to put Hong Kong in a safe list, allowing its residents to travel to its member countries for leisure and business trips.

Apart from Hong Kong, United States, Albania, North Macedonia, Serbia, Lebanon, Taiwan and Macau, are added to the white list today, officials and diplomats said. 

Countries and territories on the EU white list are exempted from the Covid-19 travel ban ahead of the busy summer holiday season critical to the economies of many member nations. 

Australia, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand have earlier been included to the white list.  

The EU Commission said member states “should gradually lift the travel restrictions” for residents of the “white list” countries or territories, but EU states can still choose to require travelers from these areas to undergo Covid-19 testing or to observe periods in quarantine, but once the new list is approved the recommendation is that they should be exempted from a blanket travel ban that the bloc imposed in March last year. 

Currently, only people with an essential function or need are exempted from the travel restrictions to the EU like passengers traveling for imperative family reasons, and those traveling for the purpose of study, as well as high qualified workers if their employment is necessary from an economic perspective and the work cannot be postponed or performed abroad.

Other non-essential travels like leisure and business trips are restricted to the EU from many non-EU countries, except places on the “white list”. 

People arriving Hong Kong from Europe are still required to undergo a compulsory quarantine for 21 days in a designated quarantine hotel if they have not been fully vaccinated. For those who have been fully vaccinated, the quarantine period will be shortened to 14 days.

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