Australian tourists could be banned from Europe or forced into quarantine as the European Union declares Down Under a ‘Covid danger zone’ amid surging cases.
Travelling to parts of Europe could become near-impossible following Australia’s classification as a virus hotspot and the tightening of restrictions.
The EU announced Australia had been removed from the white list of countries for which Covid travel restrictions ‘should be lifted’.
‘New testing and self-isolation requirements may apply depending on which EU member state you’re travelling to, regardless of whether you’re considered fully vaccinated or not,’ it said.
Australian tourists could be banned from travelling to Europe or forced into quarantine as the European Union declares Down Under a ‘Covid danger zone’ (pictured, Bondi beach-goers)
Travelling to European destinations could become near impossible following Australia’s classification as a virus hot spot and the tightening of restrictions (pictured, Heathrow airport)
Omicron cases continue to multiply across Australia with the EU noting there had been 511,267 infections in seven days earlier this month.
Australia is noticeably absent from the ‘white list’ that recently added countries from outside the Schengen Area to travel to some EU states.
Tourists from countries including New Zealand, Indonesia, Chile, South Korea and China will enjoy eased travel restrictions, however Australia has been excluded.
This means citizens could be slapped with a total or partial ban from entering some European countries, with increased quarantine and testing requirements.
The European Council has also labelled Canada and Argentina as Covid danger zones with the list to be reviewed every two weeks.
The official directive comes after the US State Department and Centres for Disease and Prevention updated their travel advice for Americans on Wednesday.
Down Under is noticeably absent from the EU ‘white list’ which recently approved travellers from outside the Schengan zone (pictured, passengers arrive at an airport near Paris, France)
Australia on Wednesday was slapped with a Level 4 ‘Do Not Travel’ rating – the same as war-torn nations including North Korea, Afghanistan and Syria (pictured, testing in Bondi)
NEW DESTINATIONS WITH ‘DO NOT TRAVEL’ BY THE US
Albania, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bermuda, Bolivia, British Virgin Islands, Cape Verde, Egypt, Grenada, Guyana, Israel, Panama, Qatar, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sint Maarten, Suriname, Turks and Caicos, and Uruguay.
Australia was slapped with a Level 4 ‘Do Not Travel’ rating – the same as war-torn nations including North Korea, Afghanistan and Syria.
American citizens are being warned to avoid all travel to Australia, declaring the risk of contracting Covid-19 is too ‘severe’.
Even with the highest number of Covid cases in world since the pandemic began, the US administration warned Americans to avoid a trip Down Under, with countries such as China and Japan still considered Level 3.
Under the threat system Level 1 means there is low risk, Level 2 signifies a moderate threat, while Level 3 urges US residents to avoid unnecessary travel.
During the pandemic, the marker for a nation to be given a Level 4 warning by the CDC is 500 new Covid cases per 100,000 people over the past 28 days with 22 new nations surpassing that threshold this week.
‘Do not travel to Australia due to Coivd-19-related travel restrictions,’ the travel advice said.
‘The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Australia due to Covid-19, indicating a very high level of Covid-19 in the country.
Canada reported 48,964 new infection for January 17 – earning it a place on the EU’s danger list
‘Your risk of contracting Covid-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized vaccine.
‘There are restrictions in place affecting US citizen entry into Australia.’
Australia’s Covid death toll has been relatively low throughout the most of the pandemic, but Omicron is creating challenges with more than 60,000 new daily cases since December.
Australia will be be regarded as unsafe by both the US and EU at least until the Omicron wave passes and cases fall.
Since the beginning of the pandemic Australia has recorded 1.8 million cases of Covid and 2,750 deaths from the virus.
This means about 6.9 per cent of the population has been infected with Covid, with a death rate of just 0.01 per cent.
In NSW – the state that continues to record the bulk of the nation’s infections – 36 people died with Covid on Thursday (pictured, traffic marshals at a Bondi Beach testing clinic)
Since the beginning of the pandemic Australia has recorded a total of 1.8 million cases of Covid and 2,750 deaths from the virus.
By comparison, about 21 per cent of France’s population has been infected with the virus since the beginning of the pandemic and 0.18 per cent died.
Australia has banned international tourists since March 2020, the month the World Health Organisation declared a pandemic.
But international students and those with a working visa have been allowed back into Australia since December 2021.
Australians were banned from travelling overseas for a holiday in March 2020 but that restriction was lifted just before Christmas for vaccinated citizens and permanent residents.