The European Union has listed Rwanda among the countries on which Covid-19 travel restrictions into the EU territory should be gradually lifted.
According to a statement from the Council of the European Union on October 22, the move follows a review under the recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU.
Among the criteria, the EU considers for lifting travel restrictions on third countries (countries that are not members of the EU as well as countries whose citizens do not enjoy the European Union right to free movement) include their epidemiological situation and containment measures, including physical distancing, as well as economic and social considerations.
The other countries from which the restrictions have been lifted are Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Uruguay.
This means that Rwanda is the only African country to feature on the least.
For China and the special administrative regions of China Hong Kong and Macao, the lifting of restrictions will be subject to confirmation of reciprocity.
The EU Council’s statement, however, indicates that this list will continue to be reviewed regularly and, as the case may be, updated.
In addition, the statement says that the EU Council recommendation is not a legally binding instrument.
So, the authorities of the member states remain responsible for implementing the content of the recommendation, where they may, in full transparency, lift only progressively travel restrictions towards countries listed.
For the past few weeks, Rwanda has been reporting progress in the fight against Covid-19. For instance, the country’s active cases have fallen from over 1600 on October 6 to 212 on October 23.