Ugandans among candidates for entry into post-Covid EUThe ‘safe list’ will be reviewed every two weeks and adjusted depending on the latest coronavirus developments in each country.
Later today, Ugandans will know whether they qualify for the ‘safe list’ of countries whose citizens are allowed to travel to the European Union (EU). To date, Rwanda is the only East African Community member country already listed.
According to SchengenVisaInfo, over the weekend, the EU Commission revealed the new list of countries that will be permitted to enter the EU from July 1, when the external borders are officially scheduled to be reopened, but the US is excluded due to the Coronavirus developments.
So far countries included on Europe’s ‘safe list’, whose nationals will be allowed to enter Europe are: Algeria, Australia, Canada, China, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.
If the Chinese government offers a reciprocal travel deal for citizens of European Union countries, the EU will add China to the ‘safe list’.
Uganda is on the initial list of 54 countries whose citizens were eligible for entry when the EU opens to international travel but is missing on the select list of 15 which includes Rwanda. Uganda and Rwanda were the only countries in East Africa that made it to the list that include nine other African countries. The EU mainly relied on a country’s response and the effectiveness of that response in containing the pandemic. Another consideration was whether the country had opened up to international visitors.
Given Uganda’ widely lauded performance in handling Covid-19 with relatively low numbers of infections and no deaths, there are good chances the country will also feature when the final list is published at 13.00 hrs East African time. But with Entebbe International Airport still closed to general passenger traffic, this might work against the country’s qualification. Rwanda re-opened Kigali International Airport last week.
The ‘safe list’ will be reviewed every two weeks and adjusted depending on the latest coronavirus developments in each country.
The Brussels-based Commission introduced its recommendation for the reopening of internal Schengen borders on June 15, so the citizens of European countries would be eligible to travel within the Schengen Zone freely, as they did before the Coronavirus outbreak.
The Commission also recommended that from July 1, the Member States should start permitting third-country nationals to enter the EU, if the COVID-19 situation permits such a step to be taken.