The European Union shut its door to visitors from Uruguay amid a surge in coronavirus cases there while gearing up for deliberations on how to treat travelers from the U.K. when its Brexit transition ends next month.
EU governments decided on Wednesday in Brussels to remove Uruguay from their common list of countries whose residents should be allowed to visit the bloc during the pandemic, according to an official familiar with the matter. The update of the EU’s recommended travel “white list” keeps the U.S. and most other nations off it.
The removal of Uruguay shrinks the EU list of permitted travel to residents of just eight states: Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand. The decision is due to be published in the EU Official Journal within days.
At a closed-door gathering, EU member-country envoys endorsed a recommendation to delist Uruguay that emerged the day before from a preparatory meeting at which some participants said the status of Britain would need to be assessed when it leaves the European single market and customs union on Jan. 1, according to another official.
The EU on July 1 recommended that member states allow foreign visitors from 15 countries as part of a move to loosen coronavirus-triggered restrictions imposed in mid-March on non-essential travel to the bloc.
Since then, Serbia, Montenegro, Algeria, Morocco, Canada, Tunisia and Georgia have been delisted and Singapore has been added. The EU normally reviews its list roughly every two weeks, with the previous change being the removal of Canada, Tunisia and Georgia and the addition of Singapore in late October.