Travel abroad: what are the new criteria established in Europe?

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The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control will publish a common map every week.

LEuropean affairs ministers on Tuesday adopted common criteria for travel restrictions in the EU, in an attempt to end the cacophony generated by the Covid-19 pandemic, which is experiencing a worrying recovery on the continent.

At a meeting in Luxembourg, ministers approved a recommendation – which is not binding – establishing a common mapping to define risk areas within the EU. Several member states abstained, however.

A precise color code

The text provides that the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) publishes each week a map of the situation of all the countries of the Union at regional level, with a common color code according to the level of risk. of a zone: green, orange, red.

These areas are defined by taking into account the criteria of the number of new cases notified per 100,000 inhabitants over the last 14 days and the positivity rate of the tests. A fourth color (gray) is provided for areas in which there is insufficient data or when the number of tests carried out per 100,000 inhabitants is considered too low.

Free circulation

Depending on the recommendation, travelers coming from an orange, red or gray zone may be subject to quarantine and / or screening upon arrival. Those who come from a green zone are not subject to any measure.

Member states should not refuse entry into their territory to travelers coming from another EU country – which Hungary is currently doing while providing certain exceptions for Czech, Polish and Slovak citizens.

Limit restrictive measures

The text provides that the test results must be mutually recognized. And quarantine exemptions for travelers performing a number of functions deemed essential.

A country planning to put in place restrictive measures against travelers coming from an area deemed to be at risk must inform the Member State concerned, if possible 48 hours before their entry into force. The public should also be notified at least 24 hours in advance.

The introduction of a single European form to be completed by travelers is also planned.

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