Australia is labelled a ‘Covid DANGER ZONE’ by the EU with new travel restrictions banning the unvaccinated from a European holiday – after the nation suffered its deadliest day of the pandemic
Australia has been deemed a ‘Covid danger zone’ by the European council and removed from a ‘safe list’ of countries allowed to enjoy freer travel to Europe.
Travel rules for un-jabbed arrivals were tightened on Tuesday to include travellers from Australia, Argentina and Canada, in the face of soaring Covid cases and deaths.
The European Council of the European Union announced the three nations would be removed from a list of countries it recommends lifting non-essential travel bans for.
Countries that did make the cut, with the European Council recommending travellers can arrive regardless of vaccination status, include Colombia and China.
Colombia has seen 5.5 million coronavirus cases to date, and more than 131,000 deaths, while the virus originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
Australia, having enjoyed relatively low Covid case numbers and deaths throughout the pandemic, has been suffering its worst ever bout with the virus since early December – clocking up more than 60,000 cases daily.
The European Council has removed Australia from the recommended list of countries whose unvaccinated citizens will be able to enter the EU under lifted Covid restrictions on Tuesday night (pictured, beachgoers on Bondi Beach on January 16)
China is on the list of places the European Council recommends lifting travel restrictions on, despite the virus originating there (pictured, testing at Xian North train station on January 17)
Canada reported 48,964 new infection for January 17 – earning it a place on the EU’s danger list
Countries removed from the EU list of people who can travel vaxx-free
46,220 new cases were reported on January 18 with the majority of cases situated in NSW and Vic.
92.6 per cent of Australia’s population aged over 16 is fully vaccinated.
Canada reported 48,964 new infection for January 17.
87.78 per cent of the country’s population aged over 12 is fully vaccinated.
Argentine has reported 161,893 new cases of covid in the last 24 hours.
Reuters estimates 91.7 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated.
Since the beginning of the pandemic Australia has recorded a total of 1.8 million cases of Covid and 2,750 deaths due to infection.
This means around 6.9 per cent of Australia’s population has been infected with Covid and just 0.01 per cent have died from it.
In comparison around 21 per cent of France’s population has been infected with the virus since the beginning of the pandemic and roughly 0.18 per cent have died.
Tourists fully vaccinated with European Medicines Agency approved vaccines are currently able to travel to EU countries for any purpose.
The vaccines approved include Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Novavax, and Moderna.
EU citizens and healthcare and transport personnel are exempt from the recommended tightened restrictions.
Roughly 5.5 per cent of Australia’s population has been infected with Covid and 0.01 per cent have died from it
EU citizens and healthcare and transport personnel are exempt from the recommended tightened restrictions
The EU council stated that the list will be reviewed every two weeks.
When the pandemic first began in March 2020, the majority of EU nations agreed on an entry ban for non-essential travel, which now applies to those who aren’t vaccinated against Covid.
The list of countries the EU council recommends lifting travel bans for includes 15 countries and special administrative regions.
The move to remove Australia from the safe list comes after the country suffered its second worst day for Covid deaths since the start of pandemic.
A record 36 people died on Monday in NSW after testing positive to Covid and 22 in Victoria – just one shy of the pandemic record of 59 on September 4, 2020.
The youngest of the NSW fatalities was aged in their 40s while all but three were over-65.
For more information on travel restrictions visit: smartraveller.gov.au
Countries the EU Council recommends lifting travel restrictions for
- New Zealand
- Saudi Arabia
- South Korea
- United Arab Emirates
- China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity
The EU also recommends the lifted restrictions of Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan.