The European Union (EU) has voted this week to allow for non-essential travel from 11 new countries including Canada. 27 ambassadors from member-states made the vote to allow Canadians to visit the EU. Individual nations can still demand a negative COVID-19 test or a quarantine period.
The 11 countries joining it are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Canada, Jordan, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Notably, the United Kingdom which recently left the EU is not on the list of approved non-essential travellers, according to Reuters.
The UK is experiencing a rush of Delta variant cases sweeping through its population which likely contributed to it not being included on the list. Canada is also experiencing Delta variant cases in Ontario and surrounding provinces but not nearly to the same degree as the UK.
EU countries are also recommended to gradually to lift travel restrictions for the current 14 countries on the list—Albania, Australia, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Rwanda, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and the United States. Also included on this list are Hong Kong and Macau.
Canada is set to see major reopening during the beginning of July with the province of British Columbia set to end its indoor mask mandate along with individual cities like Edmonton. Nova Scotia is also set to open its border to the rest of Canada as cases remain low.
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has also released new guidelines last Friday for fully vaccinated Canadians as vaccine numbers continue to increase. Fully vaccinated people can now gather outdoors and attend small gatherings indoors without masks.