EU Health Agency Continues to Advise Against Travel to Most EU Countries

Only weeks before the winter holidays, the epidemiologic situation remains unfavourable for travel in the majority of European Union Member States.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has shown through its latest update of the maps published in support of the Council Recommendation on a coordinated approach to travel measures in the EU that a large share of countries have been identifying increased infection cases during the last seven days. The ECDC has thus suggested that everyone refrains from taking any non-essential trips.

Based on the data provided by the EU Health Agency, most of EU countries – Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Ireland, the Netherlands, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Hungary, Slovenia, and Slovakia – are currently classified as dark red countries, reports.

This categorisation has been made after all of these countries registered more than 500 infection cases per 100,000 inhabitants during the last couple of weeks and had a tests positivity rate of more than four per cent.

Last week, only some regions of Czechia, the Netherlands, and Hungary were part of the dark red list. However, since these three countries identified increased infection rates, now the majority of their territory is coloured dark red.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) figures, out of all the countries that are currently classified as highly affected by the COVID-19, the Netherlands, Czechia, and Romania have registered the highest infection rates.

In the last 24 hours, the Netherlands has reported 11,352 new infection cases. During the same period, Czechia registered 14,539 new cases, whereas Romania reported 7,589 cases.

Consequently, considering these infection rates that have been increasing rapidly lately, the Agency has advised that all persons, especially those who haven’t been vaccinated or recovered from the virus, avoid travelling to any of the above-mentioned countries.

>> EU Travel: Overview of November’s Country-by-Country COVID-19 Rules of Vaccination, Quarantine & Testing

In addition to the countries mentioned above, Germany, Poland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, and Liechtenstein also continue to be affected by the virus. All of these countries have registered more than 200 cases per 100,000 inhabitants during the last 14 days, which means that they are part of the red list.

Therefore, travel to these areas is also discouraged, but not as strongly as travel to the dark red-listed countries. Still, everyone is advised to hold the necessary documents and be cautious during their trip.

In contrast, the Agency has indicated that similar to the last couple of weeks, the epidemiologic situation has remained relatively the same in France, Portugal, Spain, and Italy. These three are currently the safest destinations to travel to.  Nonetheless, a handful of their regions have been categorised as red this week.

Previously, informed that European travel will not reach its pre-pandemic level until 2024. Despite the notable increase of international arrivals during the summer season, by the end of the year, the figures are predicted to remain 60 per cent below compared to those registered during 2019.

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