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Hungary won’t back EU request to add non-EU countries to safe travel list – Orban

Hungary won’t back EU request to add non-EU countries to safe travel list – Orban

Budapest will not comply with a European Union request to add non-member states to a “safe” travel list, except for Serbia, according to Hungarian PM Viktor Orban. The 27-member bloc gave majority approval on Tuesday to leisure or business travel from 14 countries beyond its borders.

The countries include Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

However, Orban said in a video posted on his Facebook page on Thursday: “For the time being we cannot support the EU’s request… because this would go against the healthcare interests of the Hungarian people.” Serbia, Hungary’s only southern neighbor which is outside the EU, is home to a large ethnic Hungarian minority.

Italy has also said it would opt out and keep quarantine restrictions in place for all nations that were not part of the free-travel Schengen area, Reuters reported.