EU agrees to end travel ban from southern Africa

Air travel can resume from southern African region with respect of EU entry rules

EU countries agreed on Monday to end travel restrictions from the southern African region.

EU members agreed “to lift the emergency break to allow air travel to resume with southern African countries,” the French government assuming the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU announced on Twitter.

Travelers will still need to respect certain health requirements to enter the bloc, the post added.

EU countries decided in November last year to ban flights from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe to stem to spread of the omicron variant that was first discovered in Botswana and South Africa.

In December, the European Commission encouraged EU governments to lift the travel ban and ask travelers to have a PCR before they depart from the southern African region.

The EU currently allows non-essential travel into the bloc for residents of the countries featured on its continuously updated travel list that grants access based on nationality, without considering the vaccination status.

Right before the discovery of the omicron variant, the European Commission proposed EU member states gradually open their borders to international travelers to remove the country list system.

New travel rules are expected to be adopted this month.

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