Members of the European Union agreed Tuesday to reopen borders to visitors from 14 countries outside the bloc, including Japan and South Korea, from Wednesday, after months of travel restrictions over the coronavirus outbreak.
The European Union is seeking to revive its economy ahead of the summer travel season by removing the travel ban on countries with virus infection rates similar to or below that of the bloc.
The other 12 nations are Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay.
Japan has an entry ban in place for more than 100 countries and regions, including the 27 EU nations. Since the European Union seeks reciprocity on travel restrictions, actual lifting of travel restrictions may hinge on Tokyo's response.
On the other hand, the European Union will maintain entry bans for countries with high infection rates such as Brazil, Russia and the United States for the time being.
As for China where the novel coronavirus was first detected in late last year, the bloc says it will decide what to do with China after assessing whether Beijing will allow European tourists to enter the country.
The European Union plans to update the list of countries for lifting travel restrictions every two weeks.