The European Union has formally agreed on a series of recommendations that will allow travelers from outside the bloc to visit EU countries, months after it closed its external borders in response to the Covid-19 explosion.

As was widely expected, the list of 14 countries does not include the United States, the current rate of Covid-19 infection does not meet the criteria set by the EU for the US to be considered a "safe country". The criteria require that Covid-confirmed cases in countries be similar to or below those of the EU per 100,000 citizens over the previous 14 days (starting June 15).

Countries should also have a steady or declining trend in new cases during this period compared to the previous 14 days, and the EU will consider what measures countries are taking, such as tracking contacts and how credible are the data of each nation.

The recommendations are expected to enter into force on 1 August, however, it remains for member states to decide exactly how they will implement any changes to border policy.

Which countries are on the list?
Countries to be included are: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay.
China, where the virus originated, is not on the initial list of 14 countries, but the EU is ready to put it on that list if the Chinese government allows EU citizens to enter its borders. CNN /