The EU presidency hopes to vote on the final list of countries that the Schengen area will open its borders to on June 29.
Rabat – European Union members are still working to determine which states should be considered “safe countries” from where people can travel to the Schengen area in July.
AFP quoted diplomatic sources who reaffirmed that EU envoys are requesting more time to consider which countries can be added to the “safe” list and which should be excluded.
On June 26, the EU drafted a list of 14 countries, including Morocco, that will enjoy travel to the Schengen area. EU countries had to provide their final feedback on the list by June 28 ahead of a final vote from 27 member states.
However, an EU source told AFP that consultations are still ongoing.
“There is no visibility on where this will go, but the presidency (Croatia) still hopes to put this matter to a vote on Monday (June 29),” the source said.
The draft list of the 14 countries selected for the “safe” list includes New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Japan, Georgia, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Uruguay, Canada, Australia, and Montenegro.
EU members are ready to add China to the “safe” list on the condition of reciprocity.
The list will exclude countries where thousands of COVID-19 cases are confirmed daily, such as the US and Brazil. Both countries are considered epicenters of the pandemic.
While the EU is ready to reopen its borders to travelers from Morocco, the North African country is yet to determine a date to reopen its own borders.
While domestic flights and tourism activities resumed on June 25, the country has been recording hundreds of new cases on a daily basis, making the prospects for border reopening ambiguous.
Spain is planning to reopen borders with Morocco on July 1, but Schengen Visa Info reported on June 22 that the Spanish government expects Morocco to keep its borders closed until winter.
Morocco is, however, opening its doors to nationals who have been stranded abroad since mid-March.
The Moroccan government suspended all maritime, land, and air travel on March 15 as part of its approach to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Total cases in the country have reached 12,248, including 8,790 and 224 deaths, as of 10 a.m. on June 29.