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EU’s Top Health Authority Suggests Avoiding Travel to Majority of EU Countries as Winter Holidays Approach

Shortly before the winter break, the COVID-19 situation began to deteriorate among EU countries, causing inconveniences for those planning to travel to another member state.

The latest update of maps by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) showed that several countries had recorded high infection rates over the past seven days, indicating that everyone is avoiding non-essential travel.

According to the European Union’s health agency, a large proportion of EU countries – Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia – are currently classified as dark red countries.

This classification was made based on the fact that all of these regions identified more than 500 cases of infection per 100,000 population in the past two weeks, reports.

Consistent with data provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), among all the countries in the dark red list, Romania, Austria and Bulgaria had the highest infection rates.

In the past 24 hours, Romania reported 10,196 new cases of COVID-19, followed by Austria with 4,962 new cases, and Bulgaria with 5,863 new cases.

Taking into account the increasing infection rates in all the above dark red countries, the agency has strongly encouraged travel to these areas, especially for people who are not fully immunized or have recovered from the virus.

>> EU travel: overview of country-specific vaccination, quarantine and testing rules for November

In addition to the above countries, the epidemiological situation has also worsened in the Czech Republic where half of its territory is now dark red. In a map update last week, the country’s situation was noticeably more stable.

Furthermore, Germany has been listed as a red country for several weeks now. However, two of its regions – Saxony and Thuringia – have been added to the dark red list, which means that traveling to and from the country, especially these two regions, is very frustrating.

Likewise, the majority of Poland is currently colored red, unlike last week when some of its regions were part of the orange list.

Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Finland are also part of the red category with more than 200 cases per 100,000 population recorded in the past 14 days. Traveling to these areas is not as frustrating as the dark red countries. However, everyone is advised to carry the necessary documents and be careful during their journey.

On the contrary, the agency revealed that similar to the past two weeks, the COVID-19 situation has remained roughly the same in Italy, France and Portugal. These three countries are the safest destinations to travel to at the moment.

Previously, reported that EU member states are trying to reach an agreement that would allow European citizens to travel freely within the bloc without being subjected to additional restrictions related to the coronavirus.

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