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Coronavirus live news: India returns Bangalore to lockdown; EU drops Serbia and Montenegro from safe list

  • July 14, 2020

The European Union has decided to drop Serbia and Montenegro from its safe list of countries from which non-essential travel is allowed, and did not even discuss including the United States given its sharp rise in coronavirus cases, EU officials told Reuters.

EU diplomats today approved a proposal from Germany, now holding the rotating EU presidency, to exclude non-EU Serbia and Montenegro because of spreading infections, officials said. There have been anti-government protests in Serbia, initially sparked by the announcement of a new coronavirus lockdown amid a surge in new cases.

The updated list, which will be published in coming hours or days, is only a recommendation and not all of the 27 EU member countries are applying its provisions.

After the exclusion of Serbia and Montenegro, 13 countries remain on the EU list: Algeria, Australia, Canada, China, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

Despite China being on the list, travel from there will be allowed only if Chinese authorities also allow in EU visitors. The reciprocity requirement is not applied in the case of the other listed countries.

“China has no intention to open its borders to the EU,” an EU diplomat said with respect to discussions with Beijing.

Medical workers bring medications to patients suffering from coronavirus disease (COVID-19) inside the Institute for Orthopaedic Surgery “Banjica”, recently transformed to a Covid hospital, in Belgrade, Serbia. The small Balkan country is experiencing a resurgence of the pandemic. Photograph: Oliver Bunic/AFP/Getty Images

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