European capitals have given the green light to the list of 15 non-EU countries to which to open external borders from July 1st, after blocking non-essential trips to the European Union introduced in mid-March in an attempt to contain the spread of coronavirus. Visitors from the Schengen area may enter
– South Korea,
– New Zeland
Doors open also to China but only if it respects the criterion of reciprocity, that is, if it in turn eliminates the mandatory quarantine for European citizens.
For the moment I am excluding the United States, Russia, Brazil and India for the high number of infections. Off the list too Israel.
There Great Britaindespite Brexit, it is still formally considered part of the EU for the duration of the transition period, which will end at the end of the year. The list of countries will be updated every two weeks based on epidemiological and health criteria and the ability of states to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Stopping the Americans is a sensational decision, but motivated by the contagion curve: and in some States the increase in the contagion marks new records every day.
The decisive criteria on the basis of which the list was composed – as anticipated here – are three: a rate of new infections per 100 thousand people in the last two weeks of not more than 16.1, than the European average; a trend of these decreasing or at least not increasing, and above all an index of reliability of the health system of a given country above 57. A criterion, this, very political – and therefore controversial: the score (from 1 to 100) is in fact established on the basis of the parameters set by the International Health Regulations of the World Health Organization, which measure the ability of a nation to respond to public health emergencies of international importance: tests, hospital beds, intensive care units, number of doctors and paramedics in relation to the population, prevention rules in force, quality of care, monitoring, everything more. 57 precisely the average vote of the EU.
The list a recommendation which aims to coordinate the actions of the capitals but not binding: the Member States have exclusive jurisdiction over the borders, for the Schengen area it provides for the free movement of people, hence the need for coordination. It is therefore a rough list: a country can also decide to adopt more restrictive measures and to reduce the number of non-EU countries to which it can open its borders. The opposite, however, could cause the closure of borders against the most permissive EU country to be redeemed within the Schengen area.