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Health agency updates COVID-19 maps in line with new EU travel rules

By on February 3, 2022 0

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has updated the weekly maps in support of a coordinated approach to EU travel measures, based on the European Commission’s new recommendation, taking into account vaccination rates in each region.

So far, the maps have been updated taking into account the 14-day COVID-19 notification rate per 100,000 population and test positivity in each area. However, since February 1, the region’s vaccination update is also taken into account.

In the [new] maps, EU/EEA member states are ranked according to an indicator based on the 14-day notification rate, weighted by the region’s vaccination coveragenotes the ECDC updating the maps on February 3.

EU and Schengen countries continue to be colored green, orange, red and dark red, while the indicator formula is – Weighted rate = (C+C*(100-V)/100) /2. The C represents the notification rate, while the V represents the vaccination coverage.

Thus, according to the formula, in green are colored the regions whose weighted rate is less than 40, in orange, those whose rate is between 40 and 100, while in red those whose weighted rate is between 100 and 300. Countries in which the weighted rate is 300 or more are colored in dark red.

Regarding third countries for which the screening rate is 600 or less, they are colored in dark gray and the regions for which insufficient data are available are marked in gray.

All of Europe colored dark red despite high vaccination rates

According to an EU Council recommendation published on January 25, all EU member states should now impose travel restrictions based on the vaccination status of the traveler instead of basing their restrictions solely on the country of departure.

The recommendation guides member states to allow unrestricted entry to people traveling with an EU digital COVID-19 certificate, which is held by people vaccinated against COVID-19, those who have recovered from the virus, as well than those who test negative. before their trip, removing additional requirements like more testing and quarantine obligations.

Still, the Council noted that such restrictions could be imposed on travelers from dark red areas of the EU and Schengen countries.

Based on this map, Member States should apply measures regarding travel to and from dark red areas, where the virus is circulating at very high levels. In particular, they should discourage all non-essential travel and require people arriving from these areas, who do not have a vaccination or recovery certificate, to submit to a test before departure and to quarantine after their arrival. arrival“, notes the Council.

Although the intention of the Council is to facilitate travel throughout the block, due to high rates of COVID-19 such a thing is not possible. Updated ECDC maps show all of Europe marked in dark red with no exceptions.

This means that relaxing the travel rules based on the January 25 recommendation is not possible.

Yet despite the high numbers of COVID-19 reported across the bloc, several member states have already eased travel restrictions, saying measures such as border checks, testing and quarantine have not helped prevent the spread of COVID-19. Other countries have removed restrictions saying the virus is no longer serious.

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