Brussels (Brussels Morning) EU member states agreed on common coronavirus travel rules on Friday, according to Reuters . The new system is aimed at ironing out the patchwork of travel restrictions across the EU and helping restore free movement of people in the bloc, an EU core principle, once conditions allow.
According to a German EU Council spokesman, the new system will make travel conditions in the EU more predictable and transparent. Due for adoption next week, the guidelines recommend non-discriminatory restrictions that are proportionate and narrow in scope. The system will divide regions in the EU into green, orange and red, depending on the prevailing epidemiological situation. The plan is for all member states to grant access to visitors from zones that are designated green. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) is to provide weekly updates which will be used to determine the colours to be assigned to the different regions.
According to ECDC’s current assessment, only parts of eastern Germany, parts of the Nordic and Baltic countries, parts of Bulgaria and Greece, one zone in Italy, and Cyprus qualify as green, with coronavirus infections spiking across the bloc. The new system allows member states to determine their own measures, but encourages consistency for red zone thresholds, among other.
According to the plan, red zone status is for regions with infection rates of 50 or more per 100,000 people in 14 days and ratio of positive tests of 4% or higher, or infection rates greater than 150 irrespective of positive test rate. In order to qualify for green status, a region must have an infection rate below 25 and a positive test rate below 4%.
Currently, each EU member state maintains its own standards for entry of citizens of third countries and implements its own rules aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus, DW reported Friday. These include quarantine upon entry, social distancing measures, mask-wearing requirements and curfews.