The COVID-19 situation has improved significantly in the countries of the European Union and the Schengen area compared to the first half of 2021. However, travel to a large part of the regions remains unsafe as many countries and regions are currently placed on the green list.
Based on the latest map update published yesterday, October 21, by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), only Malta and most regions of Spain, France and Italy remain part of the green list.
The areas currently colored green are as follows:
Regions of Spain: Galicia, Asturias, Castile and Leon, Extremadura, Andalusia, La Rioja, Navarre, Murcia, Valencia, Canary Islands Regions of France: Normandy, Haut-de-France, Grand Est, Occitanie, Reunion, Mayotte, Italy. Liguria, Piedmont, Aosta, Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Umbria, Lazio, Abruzzo, Molise, Puglia, Basilicata, Sardinia
The countries and regions colored green in the maps are those with fewer than 50 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population and a positive test rate of less than four percent in the past two weeks, TheSchengen.com reports.
Therefore, travel to these countries/areas is safe, which means that people traveling to or from Malta and the other areas mentioned above are generally exempt from entry restrictions as long as they hold an EU Digital COVID-19 certificate or other equivalent documents.
Likewise, the relaxed rules apply to all people arriving or traveling from areas that are part of the orange list.
In this week’s update, Iceland and all of Sweden are colored orange, except for Jamtland which is part of the green list. In addition, the remaining regions of Portugal, France and Italy that were not part of the green list fall into the orange category.
In contrast, the situation has worsened in Poland, where in this week’s update, only four of its regions – Lubusz, Opole, Silesia and Holy Cross Province – are part of the green list. The rest of its regions are colored orange or red.
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The coronavirus situation has worsened in Belgium and the Netherlands as the two countries are now added to the red list after recording 75 to 200 cases per 100,000 residents and having a positive test rate of 4 percent or more in the past 14 days.
Excluding these two countries, Germany, Austria, Finland, Ireland, Bulgaria, Hungary, half of Norway and half of Croatia are now part of the red list.
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As a general rule, travelers from red-listed countries and regions must follow strict entry rules when arriving in other member states. However, in most cases, vaccinated and restored travelers fall into the exemption list.
Moreover, the worst affected and most dangerous countries at the moment are Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovenia, half of Greece and half of Slovakia where they were placed in the dark red list after identifying more than 500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the past two weeks.
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Accordingly, traveling to one of these areas is very frustrating, especially for those who have not been vaccinated or cured of the virus.
Previously, TheSchengen.com reported that EU countries are trying to reach an agreement that would allow travelers to move more freely within the bloc without experiencing additional restrictions.