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

Not long before the winter holidays, the COVID-19 situation has started to worsen among the European Union countries, causing inconveniences for those planning to travel to another Member State.

The latest update of maps by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has shown that several countries have been registering high infection rates during the last seven days, suggesting that everyone avoids unnecessary trips.

According to the EU Health Agency, a large share of EU countries – Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia – are currently categorised as dark red countries.

This categorisation has been made based on the fact that all of these areas identified more than 500 infection cases per 100,000 inhabitants during the last couple of weeks, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

In line with the data provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), out of all the dark red-listed countries, Romania, Austria, and Bulgaria have registered the highest infection rates.

During the last 24 hours, Romania has reported 10,196 new COVID-19 infection cases, followed by Austria with 4,962 new cases, and Bulgaria with 5863 new cases.

Taking into account the increased infection rates in all of the above-mentioned dark-red listed countries, the Agency has strongly discouraged travel to these areas, especially for persons who haven’t been fully immunised or recovered from the virus.

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

In addition to the countries mentioned above, the epidemiologic situation has also worsened in Czechia as half of its territory is now coloured dark red. In last week’s update of the maps, the country had a significantly more stable situation.

Moreover, Germany has been listed as a red country for several weeks now. However, two of its regions – Saxony and Thuringia – have been newly added to the dark red list, meaning that travel to and from the country, especially these two regions, is highly discouraged.

Similarly, the majority of Poland is currently coloured red, in contrast to 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 as they have registered more than 200 cases per 100,000 inhabitants during the last 14 days. Travel to these areas is not as strongly discouraged as for dark red countries. Nonetheless, everyone is advised to hold the necessary documents and be cautious during their trip.

Conversely, the Agency has revealed that similar to the last couple of weeks, the COVID-19 situation has remained almost the same in Italy, France, and Portugal. These three countries are the safest destinations to travel to at the moment.

Previously, SchengenVisaInfo.com reported that the EU Member States are trying to reach an agreement that would allow European citizens to travel freely within the bloc without being subject to additional Coronavirus restrictions.

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