(22 January 2021) – EU leaders yesterday “strongly discouraged” Europeans from non-essential travel and warned tougher restrictions on trips could come within days if efforts to curb the coronavirus fell short.
EU chiefs Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel issued the warning after a four-hour summit by video link with the heads of government of the 27-nation bloc focused on responding to the second wave of the pandemic.
“All non-essential travel should be strongly discouraged both within the country and of course across borders,” von der Leyen, head of the European Commission, told a media conference.
Hotspots of COVID-19 infections in the European Union will be labelled “dark red” zones, and travellers from those areas will be required to take a test before departure and undergo quarantine, von der Leyen said.
“A dark red zone would show that in this zone, the virus is circulating at a very high level,” she said, adding that “persons travelling from dark red areas could be required to do a test before departure, as well as to undergo quarantine after arrival.”
From Sunday, anybody arriving from outside the EU — possible only for those with essential reasons — could have to have a test for Covid-19 before departure, von der Leyen said. (EurActiv)