The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) showed in its latest update that the European Union and the Schengen area countries are currently recording very high infection rates of omicron.
The newly updated maps published earlier today, on January 20, in support of the Council’s recommendation, indicate that cases of infection within the European continent have been increasing rapidly over the past seven days.
For this reason, it is recommended that everyone, especially those who have not been vaccinated against the virus, avoid taking any unnecessary trips, TheSchengen.com reports.
Taking into account that all EU/Schengen area countries are currently colored dark red, except for some Polish and Romanian areas, this means that the continent has recorded more than 500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days.
Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that France, Italy, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Belgium are among the most affected countries in the European Union.
According to the World Health Organization, France has reported 2096,557 new cases in the past seven days.
During the same period, Italy recorded 1,243,562 new cases, followed by Spain with 626,759 new cases, Germany with 525,039 new cases, the Netherlands with 242,961 new cases, the Czech Republic with 101,646 new cases, and Belgium with 158,344 new case.
The large number of infections within the European Union is associated with the highly contagious nature of the Omicron variant, which can affect even fully vaccinated people.
However, since studies indicate that the Omicron variant is less likely to cause serious health problems, Member States have decided to keep current measures and not impose any additional restrictions.
However, the requirement to provide a certificate indicating complete vaccination against the virus is still valid. Regarding vaccination cards, the majority of EU/Schengen area countries have announced that they will only accept vaccination cards provided that the last dose was taken within the last 270 days.
This means that those who were vaccinated more than nine months ago need to receive a booster dose in order for their pass to be recognized.
>> These EU/Schengen countries have announced shortening the validity of vaccine certificates so far
Previously, TheSchengen.com reported that because the Omicron variant has proven milder than other versions of COVID-19, travel may soon become easier and less difficult. This is because EU member states are considering treating COVID-19 like the flu.