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Response from the Council of the European Union on Question of UK Travel Restrictions from 1.1.2021

Posted in: Brexit, coronavirus, Health, Travel,
Author: Myra Cecilia Azzopardi
Tags: , ,

Decision made today December 16.

“Please be advised that current epidemiological situation does not allow the UK to be included today in Annex I of the Council Recommendation on the temporary restriction on nonessential travel into the EU and the possible lifting of such restriction”.

Readers do take into account the present restrictions need to be revised at the end of this month.

I contacted the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union for clarity on the restrictions of non EU countries entering the EU.

I mentioned that the travel restrictions into the EU from non EU countries were updated to restrict entry into the EU until December 31. 2020. I asked if there had been any further updates and any consideration to add the UK to the list of the non EU countries from January 1.2021. Please note the response:

“Thank you for your message dated 10/12/2020 addressed to the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union.

The Council adopted on 30 June 2020 a recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU. Based on the criteria and conditions set out in the recommendation, member states should start gradually lifting the travel restrictions at the external borders for residents of a number of third countries.

Third countries whose residents should not be affected by temporary external borders restriction on non-essential travel into the EU”.

Annex 1.















15.CHINA (*1) (*1) subject to confirmation of reciprocity

“The list of countries for which member states should gradually lift travel restrictions at the external borders, last modified on 22 October 2020”:


The response concluded with this information about the United Kingdom.

“This list will be reviewed and, as the case may be, updated every two weeks. Due to the European Council summit in week 50, the final review of Annex I for 2020 is foreseen for 16 December.

Regarding the position of the UK as from 1/1/2021, the Presidency confirmed that the UK becomes a third country (also for the purpose of this recommendation). That means that non-essential travel from the UK is not possible, except if the UK is included in Annex I. However, essential travel and travel by UK nationals who are long-term residents in the EU is permitted. At some point next year, there will be a discussion on the UK’s inclusion in Annex I (but the current epidemiological situation in the UK and the timing, with the approaching holiday season, mean that this discussion will be delayed)”.

Citizens Advice Spain has asked to be notified if the UK is or not added to annex 1, the list of countries exempted from the travel ban.

We will wait the decision but as always and more so since the state of alert due to Covid 19, we again advise all UKNS residents in Spain to travel with their residency documents, TIE, the receipt of the application for the TIE and or any other proof of residing in Spain for those expecting to re-enter Spain from next year.

I wish to give huge thanks to the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union for their rapid and clear response.

From the meeting of December 16. 2020.

Restrictions to non Eu travel December 16

Please note: The information provided is based upon our understanding of current legislation. It is not legal advice but is provided freely to enable you to be properly informed. We recommend that if you are considering taking action, you should seek professional advice.

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