A Comprehensive Analysis of Last Month’s Changes to Visa-Free Travel Across the Globe.
Named relevant countries: Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, European Union, France, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Moldova, Monaco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland.
On November 9, the Council of the European Union announced that the visa facilitation agreement with Belarus will be partially suspended. This measure will only affect members of official delegations, national and regional Governments, while the other citizens of Belarus will continue to enjoy the same benefits.
On November 25, Switzerland and Cote d’Ivoire signed three agreements regarding migration, aimed at strengthening their relations and combatting illegal migration.
Since November 2, Germany has allowed entry to the country for non-essential purposes to the citizens of Argentina, Colombia, Namibia and Peru, as long as they provide proof of having completed the vaccination process (having received a second vaccine dose) against COVID-19.
From November 15, Sweden has removed the entry ban and testing requirements for the fully vaccinated citizens of Armenia (having received a second vaccine dose) against COVID-19.
Since November 16, the authorities of Luxembourg have decided to permit all citizens of Moldova, Georgia, New Zealand and Serbia to enter the country for non-essential purposes, if they have completed the immunisation process (having received a second vaccine dose) against COVID-19 and hold a valid vaccination certificate.
On November 22, the Austrian Chancellor, Alexander Schallenberg, announced that travel into Austria will be suspended, unless for essential purposes, for a period of 20 days, following the implementation of a national lockdown into the country.
On November 23, Bulgaria’s decision of banning 14 more countries from entering into its territory (expect EU nationals that hold a valid EU COVID-19 certificate) came into effect. The 14 countries added to Bulgaria’s red list are the following: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland.
On November 25, the Commission of the European Union made the following recommendations on the coordination of safe and free movement in the EU amid the COVID-19 pandemic: changing the way countries are categorised under the traffic light map method to also consider the effects of increased vaccination; making COVID-19 vaccination certificates valid for only 9 months instead of 12; including third doses in the COVID-19 Digital Vaccine Certificates; and having Member States open their borders for fully vaccinated non-EU travellers.
On November 26, Norway’s new entry restrictions came into force, requiring all travellers to register and unvaccinated and unrecovered travellers to get tested for COVID-19, before reaching the country.
On November 29, Estonia imposed additional entry rules for unvaccinated and unrecovered travellers from Portugal, France, Finland and Monaco, due to the increased COVID-19 infection rates of those countries. Upon entry to Estonia, they will be required to take a COVID-19 test if they haven’t undergone testing previously and to quarantine for ten days, unless early release is available to them.
Named relevant countries: China, Dominica
On November 22, in Roseau, the Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, and the Ambassador of China to Dominica, Lin Xianjiang, signed a visa-waiver agreement between the two countries.
Named relevant countries: Brazil, Cuba, Mexico, Nicaragua, United States
On November 22, Nicaragua’s Interior Ministry announced that the visa requirement on the citizens of Cuba will be lifted with immediate effect to promote commercial exchange, tourism and humanitarian relations.
On November 26, the Government of Mexico declared that it will suspend an agreement allowing visa-free entry to the citizens of Brazil, in an attempt to tackle the rise of illicit traffic of Brazilian migrants travelling to Mexico.
On November 8, the United States lifted its COVID-19 travel restrictions, allowing all fully vaccinated travellers (with limited exceptions) to come into the country, to advance the resumption of international travel to the U.S.
Named relevant countries: China, Lithuania, Philippines
On November 21, China downgraded its diplomatic relations with Lithuania, as Lithuania opened a Taiwanese embassy in Vilnius.
On November 27, the Philippines announced that entry for fully vaccinated foreigners from non- visa-required countries will be suspended due to concerns on the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
Named relevant countries: Australia
On November 22, Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, announced that Australia will allow fully vaccinated eligible visa holders to enter the country without having to apply for a travel exemption, beginning on December 1.