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As winter is approaching cases are beginning to rise in many European countries, prompting the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) to advise against travel within Europe.
This post will look at the Covid-19 situation across the EU and new restrictions among its member states.
ECDC Says Avoid Travel To Europe
The latest data by the ECDC shows that several countries in Europe have been registering high infection rates during the last seven days.
According to the ECDC, many EU countries, including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia, are currently categorized as dark red countries.
The epidemiologic situation has also worsened in Czechia as half of its territory is now colored dark red.
This categorization has been made because all of these areas identified more than 500 infection cases per 100,000 inhabitants within the last couple of weeks.
Of all the dark red-listed countries, Romania, Austria, and Bulgaria have registered the highest infection rates.
As a result, the agency strongly discourages travel to these areas, especially for persons who haven’t been fully immunized or recovered from the virus.
Germany, Poland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Finland are now part of the red category, as they have registered more than 200 cases per 100,000 inhabitants during the last 14 days.
Travel to these areas is not as strongly discouraged as for dark red countries, but everyone is advised to hold the necessary documents and be cautious during their trip.
The agency said that the Covid-19 situation has remained almost the same in Italy, France, and Portugal in the last couple of weeks, making these three countries the safest destinations to travel to at the moment.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has been warning of a rise in Covid-19 cases across Europe for the past few weeks, urging caution as temperatures fall and work, travel and leisure activities return to normal.
Europe is the only area among the WHO’s six regions of member states where cases are climbing.
“That’s three weeks of progressive increase,” said Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies program.
“So while the overall global curve looks like it’s tracking down, Europe has gone up three weeks in a row.”
Today, the head of WHO said that European countries must work harder to prevent the coronavirus from spreading further as deaths and new cases surge.
“Today every single country in Europe is facing a real threat of Covid-19 resurgence or already fighting it.”
Restrictions Being Reimposed As Cases Rise
As cases rise, some European countries are reimposing restrictions.
The Netherlands is reintroducing stricter Covid-19 social restrictions to curb the fastest rate of new infections since July.
It will be obligatory to wear masks in public spaces such as shops, and Covid passes will be required to enter museums and other public spaces. The restrictions will come into effect from November 6.
Prime minister Mark Rutte said strict measures were required “because we unfortunately have to ask more of people now that the infection numbers and hospital numbers are rising quickly.”
Belgium has also tightened its Covid-19 restrictions from November 1 as infections have hit their highest level in 12 months. They are reimposing mask-wearing indoors and encouraging people to work remotely.
Belgium has been placed on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “level 4” for Covid-19, along with 78 other countries.
As cases rise in Austria, the government has outlined a plan where the unvaccinated population will be placed under lockdown once 600 intensive-care beds are filled with Covid-19 patients.
As cases continue to rise in Europe, travelers with plans to visit should monitor the situation closely as new restrictions may be added quickly that could impact travel plans.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories