The European Union has announced that Australia, Canada, and Argentina are no longer on their travel ‘white list’ amidst rising case numbers of COVID-19 thanks to the Omicron variant.

The European Council advised member states to block visitors from Australia, which it singled out as a “Covid danger zone” due to high case numbers, which means Australian travellers will likely face restrictions for non-essential travel. The US now also considers Australia high risk, advising residents to not travel here.

Not all European countries agree with the Council’s recommendations, however, with Greece, Cyprus and Italy relaxing restrictions on visiting Australians.

The Project hosts were less than impressed by the news, with Steve Price saying, “Fancy these (people) over there callings us dirty, filthy, Aussie Covid carriers.”

Meanwhile, Peter van Onselen crunched the numbers and worked out that a number of countries labelling Australia dangerous actually had higher daily case numbers. He said, “On the numbers, it’s ridiculous. Not only in overall terms for the size of the population have they had been two and three times as many cases, but even on current daily cases related to population size, European countries like France, Spain and Italy all are having more cases per day than we are.

“So are they advising their citizens to don’t go to Australia, and are they also saying leave Europe, leave your own country.”

Chief executive of Flight Centre Graham Turner believes the move will have “minimal effect on vaccinated Australians travelling to Europe”, however. Talking to The Guardian, he said, “Each EU country has their own protocols and if you are vaccinated most do not require pre-departure testing and isolation at arrival. I believe the indications are that within three to six weeks Australians will be able to fly to North America and UK/Europe without pre-departure tests and tourists will be able to fly here under the same conditions.”

Australia currently has some of the highest Covid case numbers per capita in the world, coming in just behind France. Despite this, Australia still has very low death rates, while the US has the highest.

Image: Network Ten

This article first appeared on OverSixty.