Taiwan excluded from EU’s ‘safe’ travel list

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BRUSSELS (The China Post) — Despite Taiwan’s success in controlling the spread of the new coronavirus, it has not been included among the countries that will be exempted from the European Union’s (EU) COVID-19 travel ban starting Wednesday.

The 14 countries to be lifted from the travel ban include: Australia, Canada, Japan, Algeria, Georgia, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay, according to a Reuters report on Tuesday.

The United States and China, meanwhile, have not been included in the EU’s “safe” travel list, the report said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) anticipated that Taiwan would not be among the countries exempted by EU’s travel ban in part because reciprocity is among the criteria for choosing the countries.

The issue of reciprocity was important, MOFA spokesperson Joanne Ou (歐江安) said, citing a June 11 European Commission press release that said “whether or not that country has lifted travel restrictions towards the EU” will be one of the criteria in drafting the list.

Taiwan currently bars the entry of most travelers from around the globe, including Europe, as Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) still classifies the whole world under its highest alert level for COVID-19.