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Australia has been deemed a ‘Covid danger zone’ by the European council and removed from a ‘safe list’ of countries allowed to enjoy freer travel to Europe.

Travel rules for flat-free arrivals were tightened on Tuesday to include travelers from Australia, Argentina and Canada, as cases and deaths from Covid-19 soar.

The European Council of the European Union announced that the three nations would be removed from a list of countries for which it recommends lifting non-essential travel bans.

Countries that have made the cut, with the European Council recommending that travelers be able to arrive regardless of vaccination status, include Colombia and China.

Colombia has seen 5.5 million coronavirus cases to date and more than 131,000 deaths, while the virus originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

Australia, which has enjoyed a relatively low number of Covid cases and deaths during the pandemic, has been suffering its worst bout with the virus since early December, recording more than 60,000 cases daily.

The European Council removed Australia from the recommended list of countries whose unvaccinated citizens will be allowed to enter the EU under Covid restrictions lifted on Tuesday night (pictured: sunbathers at Bondi Beach on January 16)

China is on the list of places where the European Council recommends lifting travel restrictions, even though the virus originated there (Pictured test at Xian North railway station on January 17)

China is on the list of places where the European Council recommends lifting travel restrictions, even though the virus originated there (Pictured test at Xian North railway station on January 17)

Canada reported 48,964 new infections on January 17, earning it a spot on the EU danger list.

Canada reported 48,964 new infections on January 17, earning it a spot on the EU danger list.

Countries removed from the EU list of people who can travel without vaxx

Australia:

On January 18, 46,220 new cases were reported, with the majority of cases located in NSW and Vic.

92.6% of the Australian population over the age of 16 is fully vaccinated.

Canada:

Canada reported 48,964 new infections for January 17.

87.78% of the country’s population over 12 years of age is fully vaccinated.

Argentina:

Argentina has reported 161,893 new cases of covid in the last 24 hours.

Reuters estimates that 91.7 percent of the population is fully vaccinated.

Since the start of the pandemic, Australia has recorded a total of 1.8 million Covid cases and 2,750 deaths from contagion.

This means that around 6.9 per cent of Australia’s population have been infected with Covid and only 0.01 per cent have died from it.

By comparison, about 21 percent of France’s population has been infected with the virus since the start of the pandemic, and about 0.18 percent have died.

Tourists fully vaccinated with vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency are currently allowed to travel to EU countries for any purpose.

Approved vaccines include Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Novavax and Moderna.

EU citizens and healthcare and transport personnel are exempt from the strictest recommended restrictions.

Approximately 5.5 per cent of Australia's population have been infected with Covid and 0.01 per cent have died from it.

Approximately 5.5 per cent of Australia’s population have been infected with Covid and 0.01 per cent have died from it.

EU citizens and healthcare and transport personnel are exempt from the strictest recommended restrictions

EU citizens and healthcare and transport personnel are exempt from the strictest recommended restrictions

The EU council stated that the list will be reviewed every two weeks.

When the pandemic began in March 2020, most EU nations agreed to an entry ban for non-essential travel, which now applies to those who are not vaccinated against Covid.

The list of countries for which the EU council recommends lifting travel bans includes 15 countries and special administrative regions.

The move to remove Australia from the safe list comes after the country suffered its second worst day of Covid deaths since the start of the pandemic.

A record 36 people died on Monday in New South Wales after testing positive for Covid and 22 in Victoria, just one short of the pandemic record of 59 on September 4, 2020.

The youngest of the NSW deaths was in their 40s, while all but three were over 65.

For more information on travel restrictions, visit: smarttraveller.gov.au

Countries to which the EU Council recommends lifting travel restrictions for

  • Bahrain
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Indonesia
  • Kuwait
  • New Zealand
  • Peru
  • Qatar
  • Rwanda
  • Saudi Arabia
  • South Korea
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Uruguay
  • China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity

The EU also recommends lifting restrictions from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.


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