Coronavirus : EU maintains Morocco on list of safe third countries

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The European Union (EU) decided on Thursday to keep Morocco on its list of third countries for which it recommends lifting travel restrictions, the EU Council announced.

«From July 31, member states are expected to gradually lift restrictions on movement at the external borders for residents of the following third countries : Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay, in addition to China, subject to the application of reciprocity», said the EU Council in a statement.

Re-evaluated every two weeks, this list is drawn up on the basis of criteria relating in particular to the evolution of the epidemiological situation and the quarantine measures, as well as to economic and social considerations, noted the same source.

Under EU criteria for the epidemiological situation, the third countries on the list are expected to present a number of new cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 inhabitants during the previous 14 days close to or below the average of the EU, as well as a stable or declining trend in new cases during this period compared to the previous 14 days.

The EU assessment also takes into consideration the overall response to the Covid-19 pandemic, notably in aspects such as screening, surveillance, contact tracking, quarantine, treatment and reporting, as well as the reliability of information and, if necessary, the total average score compared to international health regulations (IHR).

The EU will take reciprocity into account on a case-by-case basis, according to the EU Council which clarifies that travel restrictions do not apply to EU citizens and their family members and long-stay residents in Europe.

The Council added that its recommendation to lift travel restrictions «is not a legally binding instrument» and that the authorities of the Member States «remain responsible for the implementation of the content of the recommendation».

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