European Commission Proposes Mapping Coronavirus Occurrence Rate in Member States
The European Commission has proposed the inclusion of a new category in the map of Europe, which identifies the varying degrees of coronavirus spread. It will be colored in dark red, that is, it will indicate areas where the infection spreads especially quickly.
People coming from such areas will most likely be asked to have made a PCR test in advance and will almost certainly be quarantined upon arrival in another country. They will be explained that they should not travel not only abroad, but also inside their country, said Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission.
The proposal will be discussed on Monday in the framework of IPCR mechanism set up to reach political-level arrangements for responding to crisis situations. Each country has the right to determine on its own what measures to apply at the borders, but they must be synchronized with the neighbors and not lead to borders closure, Von der Leyen reminded. For the EU, free movement is a fundamental right and the pandemic has caused serious problems in the Schengen area, where former state borders have been practically restored.
Von der Leyen quoted several examples and explained to journalists why Europe is practically an area of contagion, but with different hotbeds for which borders are not a barrier. Anti-epidemic measures must help sort out employees and activities that cannot be stopped, but impose a ban, for example, on shopping in a neighboring country.
As for the external borders, Von der Leyen said after yesterday's virtual meeting of the leaders of the 27 Member States that pre-travel tests may be required for third-country nationals seeking to enter the EU for imperative reasons.
Talking about vaccination certificates, both she and Charles Michel, President of the European Council, reminded that documentation is a medical necessity and it has a global standard - the WHO yellow certificate. But the idea of using such a document for traveling between EU countries should be considered very carefully. Because we don't yet know how long the vaccine is effective, does an already vaccinated person infect other people and what about the political rights of those who simply don't have access to a vaccine or have good reason not to get vaccinated. The debate on this issue is forthcoming.
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