EU poised to reopen borders for Hongkongers

The European Union (EU) has added Hong Kong to an updated list of places where travel restrictions should gradually be lifted, paving the way for the city’s residents to be able to visit EU countries.

Under the EU recommendation, all travellers from places on the list should be allowed to travel to the EU.

In a statement, the Council of the EU said member states should gradually ease restrictions on non-essential travel for Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, without requiring the territories to reciprocate.

Mainland China, meanwhile, is also on the exemption list, though its inclusion is subject to “confirmation of reciprocity”, meaning that Beijing would also have to ease restrictions for EU citizens.

New additions to the list include the United States.

The EU reviews the list every two weeks, taking into account factors such as the pandemic situation in the country or territory in question, and their vaccination progress.

The recommendation is not legally binding on its 27 member states, which maintain their own individual rules on admission.

For example in France, a popular destination for Hongkongers, vaccinated travellers from the SAR are only required to produce a negative test before departure.

Unvaccinated travellers must have an urgent reason for going to the country. They also have take a test on arrivals and self-isolate for a week.

In Italy, all travellers from outside the EU may only enter for specific reasons which do not include tourism. They have to test negative before arrival and self-isolate for ten days, before taking another test.
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Last updated: 2021-06-19 HKT 21:57