Australia has been removed from the EU's list of countries that will have non-essential travel restrictions lifted, while New Zealand retains its spot.
The council of the European Union removed several countries from a Travel Safe List, which recommends what third-party countries EU member states should allow non-essential travel from.
Argentina, Australia and Canada were removed from the list, the recent press release revealed.
The list has been reviewed every two weeks since the first list was released on June 30, 2020. It advises member states what countries are safe to allow non-essential travellers from.
Countries are chosen based on several factors including the epidemiological situation and overall response to Covid-19. Reliability of available information and data sources are also considered as well as reciprocity.
On May 20, 2021, waivers were added to the recommendations to account for vaccinated persons as well as an "emergency brake mechanism" that allows them to quickly react to the risk of new variants in a listed country.
Currently, the list includes:
•The United Arab Emirates
•China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity
The Council's recommendation is not legally binding and authorities of member states are responsible for whether they implement it.
Along with the EU, Schengen associated countries such as Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Switzerland must also take the recommendation into account.
The news follows Australia's recent wave of Covid-19 cases and deaths.
Yesterday, New South Wales reported 29,504 cases of Covid-19 and 17 deaths. Victoria reported 22,429 cases and six deaths and Queensland reported 15,122 official cases and seven deaths.
Authorities in NSW and Victoria warned citizens that more Covid-related deaths are coming due to the omicron wave. Meanwhile, South Australia and the Northern Territory have announced that it's likely local infections are at, or have passed, their peak.