Yesterday, the European Council (EC) removed Kosovo, North Macedonia, and Montenegro from the list of countries from which COVID-19 travel restrictions should be lifted.
Israel, Lebanon, and the United States of America were also removed from the list.
In June 2020, the EC began to gradually lift COVID-19 travel restrictions for non-essential travel to the EU for countries that meet a set of criteria.
Starting June 2021, Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia, and Montenegro were added to this list following a steady decrease in infection rates.
However, given the climbing number of infections and deaths across the region in July and August, the Council has now reversed its decision for three Western Balkan countries.
Despite the Council’s recommendation, individual member countries can decide to allow non-essential travel for vaccinated visitors.
As of August 31, Albania and Serbia continue to be on the list.
The Council, however, will proceed to monitor the situation and update the list based on how the numbers evolve.