"The European Union has not yet made an official decision. At the same time, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has previously reported that if the number of COVID-19 cases grows in Ukraine, the EU may adopt a recommendation to remove our country from the list of countries for which travel restrictions on non-essential travel to the EU should be lifted. Brussels reviews the list of countries every two weeks and adjusts it depending on the epidemic situation," Oleg Nikolenko, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, posted on Facebook.
He noted that the epidemic situation was deteriorating not only in Ukraine and recalled that in recent weeks the European Union had significantly shortened the list of safe countries.
"Some EU countries have begun to toughen quarantine measures for their citizens," said the spokesperson.
As Nikolenko emphasized, it is important to understand that:
If adopted, the EU decision to remove Ukraine from the list of safe countries does not abolish visa-free travel, it only introduces temporary restrictions on non-essential trips to combat the spread of coronavirus disease. The decision may also be reviewed later during the next update of the list if the epidemic situation improves.
If adopted, the EU decision does not automatically establish new border crossing rules but only provides a recommendation for the EU Member States. The final decision on the permission or restriction on one or another type of travel for Ukrainian citizens is taken by each EU Member State at the national level. The experience of some of our neighbors, who have been removed from the EU's "safe list" in previous weeks, shows that we should not expect total border closures like last year.
Finally, Nikolenko assured that the Foreign Ministry and embassies were actively working with foreign partners to ensure that the range of countries welcoming Ukrainian travelers remains as wide as possible and continues to expand even in difficult conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic.