EU "Safe Countries" list - Questions

Old Oct 1st, 2020, 06:05 AM
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EU "Safe Countries" list - Questions

European Fodorites: Anyone have insight on the EU Commission's list of recommended "safe countries" admissible to EU countries for tourism?
The Commission promised an update every 15 days. We had regular updates in July. Yet no updates since August 7. And Tunisia remains on the list, despite soaring case numbers.
My concern:
Will Canada's rising infection rate result in our sudden removal from the list of approved countries? The uncertainty screws my trip planning for Greece.
Maybe this list, announced with so much fanfare as part of the EU's re-opening of its borders to outsiders, is just not a priority, now the tourist season is ending (and given that many member states ignored it anyway)?
That's my fervent hope. I don't want to be on a plane and find I've just been banned....
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Old Oct 1st, 2020, 07:03 AM
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Hi Ted:

https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/cases-2019-ncov-eueea


This is updated every day. I have cancelled my trip to Greece in Oct/Nov but may take a couple of weeks in Rome or Sicily if Italy remains off the UK quarantine list. Not sure what the other countries are doing, but both UK and Ireland are removing countries from their 'approved' list (i.e. no quarantine required on return) as the number of cases per 10K population increases over their own.

regards

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Old Oct 1st, 2020, 07:47 PM
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The EU list is just a suggestion. Everybody is like always on their own. You need to be watching Greece. Don't worry about the EU wide list
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Old Oct 1st, 2020, 08:17 PM
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Canadians are still supposed to avoid non-essential international travel. https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories
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Old Oct 2nd, 2020, 12:24 AM
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You are asking if Canadians are still allowed to travel to the EU. The list released by the European Commission (EC) showing from which countries travellers are allowed to enter the EU is not just a suggestion. As far as I can tell the list released by the EC was, as you wrote, last updated on 7 August, but could change at any time. It’s not that simple, though, as there may be restrictions on quarantine and travel within individual countries.
https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/p...ird-countries/

Nevertheless, for questions regarding travel during Covid, travel forums aren’t reliable sources of information, so you might want to contact an embassy/consulate of an EU country you wish to visit for information on quarantine and travel within the country. As the link in #4 says, Canadians are still supposed to avoid non-essential travel outside Canada, and that could affect travel insurance and support from Canadian embassies abroad.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2020, 05:10 AM
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Heimdall: Yes, the list is a formal recommendation from the EU Commission, not just a suggestion.
The Commission must be disappointed that so few EU member states have fully adhered to its recommendation -- Greece is one.
The Commission is supposed to update the list every 15 days, so I am hopeful that it will not make any changes before Oct 15 (if then).
As you say, they could change the list at any time, as the irregular August 7 amendment demonstrated.
Traveler Nick: The government of Greece is very, very pro-tourism. But when the EU dropped Algeria, Morocco and some Balkan state(s) from the list in July/ August, Greece immediately followed suit. Hence my focus on what the EU Commission decides.
I am fortunate in being a retired federal government employee. The Canadian government's Travel Advisory had the effect of invalidating the travel insurance coverage of many "snowbirds" and other travelers. But we federal retirees are better off. The Retired Public Servants' Supplemental Health Care plan still covers us for international travel, to a maximum of $500,000. They have confirmed this includes Covid-19 claims.
Greece also pays the quarantine costs of people who test positive in their random airport tests of newly arrived tourists. It pays the medical costs of tourists who fall ill with Covid-19 while on holiday in Greece, so that's reassuring.
My private trip cancellation insurance, however, is likely invalid, hence my concern with a last-minute cancellation.
I've already spoken with the Greek embassy, which is just down the street from me.
They can't forecast what the EU Commission will do. None of us can, I suppose. But I'm hopeful someone who follows EU politics will have some insight into current EU Commission thinking about EU borders.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2020, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by tedgale View Post
Heimdall: Yes, the list is a formal recommendation from the EU Commission, not just a suggestion.


.
recommendation

a suggestion or proposal as to the best course of action, especially one put forward by an authoritative body.
"the committee put forward forty recommendations for change"
The big thing the EU is worried about is Schengen. They also can't order any country to open or close their borders.

Don't watch the EU watch Greece and Canada if you have a trip from Canada to Greece.
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Old Oct 4th, 2020, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Traveler_Nick View Post
recommendation

a suggestion or proposal as to the best course of action, especially one put forward by an authoritative body.
"the committee put forward forty recommendations for change"
The big thing the EU is worried about is Schengen. They also can't order any country to open or close their borders.

Don't watch the EU watch Greece and Canada if you have a trip from Canada to Greece.
Yeah, just stop elective air travel for the time being. Is that so very hard?
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Old Oct 5th, 2020, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by OReilly64 View Post
Hi Ted:

https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/cases-2019-ncov-eueea


This is updated every day. I have cancelled my trip to Greece in Oct/Nov but may take a couple of weeks in Rome or Sicily if Italy remains off the UK quarantine list. Not sure what the other countries are doing, but both UK and Ireland are removing countries from their 'approved' list (i.e. no quarantine required on return) as the number of cases per 10K population increases over their own.

regards
Greece (except for some islands) is on the UK's exempt from all but essential travel list of countries and self isolation on returning to the UK from Greece is not necessary at the moment. Italy has been on the exemption list for several months. Quarantine and self isolation are different things. There is no quarantine requirement for returning to the UK from a country that is not on the UK's exemption list, it is self isolation that is required.
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Old Oct 5th, 2020, 11:56 AM
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A "formal recommendation" is not the same thing as a "suggestion"???? How about a formal suggestion? I would hope anything they distribute is "formal" if they are putting it in writing. Nevertheless, it doesn't mean anything so you have to find out a particular countries real, actual rules.
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Old Oct 6th, 2020, 08:14 AM
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I explained above why I am focusing on the EU.
If the EU updates its list, deleting Canada, Greece will immediately bar travelers from Canada.
That is what Greece did with travelers from Algeria, Morocco, Serbia and Montenegro as soon as the EU took those countries off the "safe countries" list.
If the EU doesn't update its list, I suspect Greece will take no independent action against Canada despite rising our case load-- because that is how they have behaved in the past, eg with Tunisia, whose case numbers are worse than ours.
Greece has many rules and requirements that it applies to travelers from hard-hit Schengen+ countries -- eg the requirement to produce a negative test result.
But Greece applies none of those requirements to travelers from countries on the "safe countries" list. We walk right in (subject to the general duty to submit to random testing on arrival, which applies to everyone, even Greeks)
THIS is why I am focusing as I am.
Someone above suggested the EU is focusing within Schengen and isn't paying attention to its own "safe countries" list.
I suspected that was so but am hoping for some corroboration, amplification, whatever.
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Old Oct 8th, 2020, 03:28 PM
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Several European countries are in way worse shape as far as growth of new cases than Canada and even the US.

But things could change in a few months.

Now that we're entering the winter months, the statistics will be shaken up again,.


If the Europeans think that the travel they allowed over the summer has contributed to the current growth in infection rate, maybe they will want to curtail entry from the outside, unless vaccines change the equation.
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Old Oct 10th, 2020, 03:28 AM
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The problem is that Greece is one of the most cash strapped countries in Europe and their judgement on what is "safe" health wise is coloured by their need for foreign exchange. That gives me an uneasy feeling if I was planning to visit mainland Greece, although some of islands, according to the UK's travel advice are deemed to be OK. Have a look at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/greece for a second opinion, but the problem is that the situation could change anywhere in the world at any time and restrictions could be imposed within a day or two.
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Old Oct 10th, 2020, 04:39 AM
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Greek Travel Pages (GTP) has published a map, last updated on 9 Oct, showing the Covid-19 risk by region.
https://news.gtp.gr/2020/10/09/greec...regional-unit/

At the time of presenting the map, 27 Greek regional units were at the green level, 25 at the yellow level and 22 at the orange level. No regional unit in Greece is red (very high risk) and according to Greek Civil Protection Deputy Minister Nikos Hardalias, so far no area is even close to reaching that level.”

Last edited by Heimdall; Oct 10th, 2020 at 04:42 AM.
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Old Oct 10th, 2020, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by scrb11 View Post
Several European countries are in way worse shape as far as growth of new cases than Canada and even the US.

But things could change in a few months.

Now that we're entering the winter months, the statistics will be shaken up again,.


If the Europeans think that the travel they allowed over the summer has contributed to the current growth in infection rate, maybe they will want to curtail entry from the outside, unless vaccines change the equation.
Case in point then: The Netherlands. Pariah of the EU now, but hell-bent on welcoming people at Schiphol. There was a lame attempt at testing incoming travellers, but only during office hours, and only for 2 weeks as "an experiment".

It's not the country you travel to, but the fact that you choose elective air travel at all. Airports are vectors for infection.
So please, please desist.
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Old Oct 10th, 2020, 11:16 PM
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I don't know that airports are as common sources of transmission as restaurants and bars, which European countries and several states have opened over the summer and into the fall.

Also churches and other places of large indoor gatherings, with prolonged stays in the company of other people, filling up spaces with aerosols which may be bearing the virus.

Also sounds like in Europe, the average and median age of those newly infected since the initial first wave back in March and April are young people, mostly in the 20s but all the way up to around 40. Again, this has been the experience in the US since the summer.

I don't know if this 20-40 age group travels and bring back infections to their home countries but they certainly socialize in bars. As has been the case in the US, especially since mid August when college-age kids return to campus but socialized in off-campus establishments.

The super spreader events tend to be large social gatherings in enclosed spaces, probably not so much cavernous airports, though there's good reason to be wary of spending a couple of hours in some crowded airport lounge.
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Old Oct 11th, 2020, 12:51 AM
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[QUOTE=scrb11;17166772
Also sounds like in Europe, the average and median age of those newly infected since the initial first wave back in March and April are young people, mostly in the 20s but all the way up to around 40. Again, this has been the experience in the US since the summer.

I don't know if this 20-40 age group travels and bring back infections to their home countries but they certainly socialize in bars. As has been the case in the US, especially since mid August when college-age kids return to campus but socialized in off-campus establishments.
.[/QUOTE]

The drop in age is more a function of who is being tested. Back in the spring it was virtually impossible to get tested. Italy required you to have at least three of the symptoms IIRC.

That's why the studies done since than show the actual number of people exposed to the virus is much higher than the official infected number.

Yes that age travels. They also travel to socialize.
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Old Oct 28th, 2020, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Traveler_Nick View Post
The EU list is just a suggestion. Everybody is like always on their own. You need to be watching Greece. Don't worry about the EU wide list
Well, the other day, the EU dropped Canada and 2 others from its safe countries list and Greece immediately banned flights from those 3 countries.
So my hunch was right.
Fortunately I'm already in Greece.
Unfortunately my flight home was cancelled -- but we're rebooked through Paris.
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