BRUSSELS (AFP) - The EU on Monday (Jan 11) took Australia, Canada and Argentina off its recommended list of countries from where travellers, even those unvaccinated, should be allowed easy entry.
The decision, agreed by ambassadors from the EU's 27 nations, reflects growing Covid infection numbers in those three countries, driven by the Omicron variant.
They are now lumped in with most countries around the world for which the EU recommends applying restrictions.
The list, however, is only advisory and many EU countries have their own individual rules when it comes to travellers arriving from non-EU countries, updated regularly on the website reopen.europa.eu.
"Non-essential travel to the EU from countries or entities not listed... is subject to temporary travel restriction," the European Council representing EU member states said in a statement.
It noted that the decision "is without prejudice to the possibility for member states to lift the temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU for fully vaccinated travellers".
The list currently gives 13 countries for which the EU says member states should "gradually lift" travel restrictions, including Chile, New Zealand, Rwanda and Saudi Arabia.
China is also technically on the list, but subject to the condition that it reciprocally lifts travel restrictions on EU residents - something Beijing, pursuing a "zero Covid" policy, is not doing.