Europe opens to Australian travellers

Australia and New Zealand make the Covid-safe cut for visiting the EU.

By David Flynn, June 30 2020
Europe opens to Australian travellers

The good news: Australia is among the 14 countries whose citizens are deemed sufficiently coronavirus-"safe" to enter the European Union from July 1, without the need to spend two weeks in isolation.

The not-so-good news: Australians are, of course, still restricted from all but essential travel, with exemptions available only for a clutch of categories and special cases – and a 14-day quarantine period will still apply on your return to Australia, as it does for all arriving travellers.

None the less, the EU bloc has sanctioned visitors from just over a dozen countries to help restart its economy as the northern summer peak holiday season looms.

Those countries are: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

They've all passed pandemic muster based on "epidemiological factors" such as the number of new infections, infection trend-lines and confidence in their data and testing procedures.

UK travellers will also enjoy free movement, as its citizens are being treated as citizens of an EU member state until the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December, the EU Commission says.

The USA, Russia, India and Brazil failed to make the cut due to their high number of infections, which show little sign of abating in the short term.

China is also on the exclusion list, although the EU maintains that Chinese citizens will be allowed into the EU once China lifts its own ban on EU citizens.

Individual EU member states are permitted to impose their own travel restrictions: the Irish government says it will maintain a 14-day quarantine for all UK entries, while Greece will uphold a ban on flights from Britain.

The move comes three months after the European Union closed its borders to all non-essential travel.

As previously reported, the UK hopes to open travel to Australia as part of a new "traffic light" system permitting travel to and from dozens of low-risk countries without the need to go into quarantine for two weeks.

Under the scheme, countries will be classified as green, amber or red, based on infection levels and trajectories, reliability of official data and confidence in each country's test and trace systems.

Read more: The UK wants open borders to Australia, but we may not accept the invite


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

30 Jun 2020

Total posts 2

As Europe opens up, their economy starts moving again and they manage to keep down the rate to an acceptable level, Australia's going to be left behind because we're aiming for no new cases.

It could result in a harder economic downturn in the long run. Now that people are aware of the behaviour of the virus and studies have revealed it to be much lower fatality rate then first thought is it not clear that border closings are no longer necessary?

yes it is clear that border closing is totally un-necessary. Open all borders.

21 Dec 2016

Total posts 39

The irony of all of this is that the "re-opening" of EU borders in this manner is essentially meaningless.

First, the EU requires reciprocity, which means that all of the countries whose citizens are allowed in, need to let EU citizens into their own countries. On that list, there are several countries who do not. So why are they on the list?

Because with no commercial flights, they can't come in anyway. Thailand, Australia, and New Zealand among them.

This is what is known as "re-opening theatre", and has no real basis in reality.

You'll know that they've started to re-open when the Chinese are allowed in. Don't hold your breath.

16 Dec 2016

Total posts 19

Dear nyjoe4,

This is not technically correct. The EU has not stated they the require reciprocity, other than for China.

21 Dec 2016

Total posts 39

You are correct, Maestro, but they have indicated that reciprocity will be part of the "consideration". The reality is that they picked a list of countries that can not - for various reasons - enter the EU anyway, due to restrictions in their own countries, so it's all a little moot.


11 Jul 2014

Total posts 940

My SQ flights were cancelled so unless I'm getting a private jet in July there is no way to get into Europe

25 Jun 2020

Total posts 6

Can anyone make an educated guess as to when Australia may allow its citizens to exit the country and travel to Europe? I quite understand that Australians should be in 14 day quarantine when they come back in the Australia. But when will Australian citizens be allowed to make a free choice as to leaving the country?

16 Dec 2016

Total posts 19

Today, also the Italian government has said it will maintain a 14-day quarantine for all entries from this country list, and that they do not accept this resolution.

16 Nov 2018

Total posts 29

Pre-requisite on China is such an obvious double standard.

25 Jun 2020

Total posts 6

Skier, do you mean borders between Australian states? I meant allowing people to exit Australia without “permission”


17 Jan 2018

Total posts 84

Believe (EU) and by default the UK (until they leave of course) has seen the light and recognised the need to open up their economies to/visitors from low risk countries. On the other hand A,NZ can continue to isolate themselves for as long as the politicians want (and public opinion supports) but the island mentality does not work in a Global economy for countries with small populations and limited influence. A,NZ will pay a disproportionate price as a result.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jan 2018

Total posts 42

But the Stasi won't grant ordinary citizens exit permits. Unlike the East Germans in 1990, we don't have Czechoslovakia to escape through.

25 Jun 2020

Total posts 6

Sorry, but I still haven't seen any opinions or suggestions as to when the need to get government permission to travel out to Europe might be lifted.

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