Britons banned from travelling to EU countries from January 1

Covid restrictions combined with the end of the Brexit transition period mean Britons will be barred from travelling - REUTERS
Covid restrictions combined with the end of the Brexit transition period mean Britons will be barred from travelling – REUTERS

Britons will be precluded from travelling to EU countries in the new year when the Brexit transition period ends.

Travellers from a limited number of countries with low coronavirus rates are allowed to visit EU countries for non-essential travel.

When the UK exits the bloc on Jan 1, residents will no longer be able to freely travel in Europe under the bloc’s Covid safety rules.

Eight non-EU countries, including Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, are on the list of “safe” third nations.

According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, 18 EU countries have higher rates of Covid-19 than Britain.

To date, individual member states have been reluctant to override the EU recommendation to prohibit entry of travellers from countries not on the safe list.

Britons will only be allowed to travel to EU countries if the rules are relaxed or states override the diktat.

Some states taking a particular hard-line stance do not allow travellers from the so-called safe list. According to the European Commission, Hungary and Croatia have not adopted the list.

In order for Britain to be added to the list of safe countries, it would need to satisfy criteria set out by the EU.

Norway has also announced that it will not allow Britons who do not live in the country to enter from Jan 1.

Britons will be allowed to travel to EU states if they are exempt from restrictions. Exemptions apply to diplomats, those travelling for “imperative family reasons” and some “highly qualified workers”.

Read more: Brexit deal: what has been agreed, and what happens next?

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