The 27-member bloc gave approval on Tuesday to leisure or business travel from 14 countries beyond its borders, the Council of the EU, which represents EU governments, said in a statement.
The countries are Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.
China has also been provisionally approved, although travel would only open up if Chinese authorities also allowed in EU visitors. Reciprocity is a condition of being on the list.
Russia, Brazil and Turkey, along with the United States, are among countries whose containment of the virus is considered worse than that of the EU average and so will have to wait at least two weeks. The bloc will carry out fortnightly reviews.
Last week reports said member states were assessing two different lists. The Politico website said one covered countries with fewer than 16 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people and the other with up to 20 cases, which would include Canada and Turkey. The list is expected to be revised every two weeks, so Turkey could be added later.
The move is aimed at supporting the EU travel industry and tourist destinations, particularly countries in southern Europe hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Turkey’s tourism revenues is expected to dive to USD10-15 billion this year from last year’s USD 34 billion, signalling alarm bells for the tourism sector.