Less than a month after the European Commission made proposals for restricting free movement in the European Union, the proposed measures have now been approved by EU council.
In the last few months, citizens have faced a great deal of uncertainty over the ever-changing and highly inconsistent rules, restrictions, and advice on travelling between member states. There has been a lack of clear information on what to do when travelling.
The new measures aim to give common criteria for travelling within the EU during the pandemic going forward. It will provide color-coded maps, which will be broken down by region, as well as common framework for rules on travel, testing, quarantine, and passenger locator forms.
It’s hope that this coordinated approach will ensure freedom of movement and provide more transparency for citizens and businesses, whilst avoiding disruption to services.
The council said in a statement, “We welcome this agreement to bring more order to a currently confusing situation. The coming together of Member States sends a strong signal to citizens and is a clear example of the EU acting where it absolutely should. We have learned our lessons: we will not surmount the crisis by unilaterally closing borders, but by working together.”
What is the new framework?
In the new common approach to assessing the risk of travel. there will be key criteria for evaluating the risk of infection in different member states.
The risks assessments will be based on the number of tests carried out per 100,000 of population, the percentage of positive tests, and the number of new cases in the last two weeks in the country itself and the region.
The color-coded maps will be available, and countries will be coded by the following criteria:
- Green – Less than 25 cases per 100,000 people in a two-week period and the percentage of positive tests is less than 4%.
- Orange – Less than 50 cases per 100,000 people in the two-week period but the percentage of positive tests is 4% or higher, or up to 150 cases if percentage of positive tests is less than 4%.
- Red – High risk. Doesn’t fall into the other two categories.
- Grey – Insufficient information available to make an assessment. Less than 300 tests carried out per 100,000 people.
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