EU could make British tourists quarantine when they arrive in resorts – and could ban them altogether if our cases rise under new bloc-wide travel rules planned for the New Year
- British tourists could face quarantine or Covid-19 tests on arrival in EU countries
- Bloc could lock UK out of the continent from January if infections continue rise
- EU Commission looking to standardise infection thresholds and approaches to lockdown
- UK will not be part of any system of shared rules upon leaving on December 31
The UK faces being locked out of the continent from January as EU countries look to standardise their approach to fighting the pandemic.
Britons could be forced to quarantine or take Covid-19 tests when travelling to EU countries, and might even be banned from Europe as a whole if infections continue to rise.
The European Commission and member states are discussing standardised ‘red to green’ colour system of country Covid levels, as well as infection rate thresholds at which to enforce a local lockdown.
But the plans don’t involve the UK, which will be treated as a non-EU country when the Brexit transition period ends on December 31.
Britons could be forced to quarantine or take Covid-19 tests when travelling to EU countries, and might even be banned from Europe as a whole if infections continue to rise. Pictured: Departures at Croatia’s Split Airport
‘European challenges require European co-ordination,’ a Commission spokesman said yesterday according to the Daily Telegraph, before adding that the plans were ‘welcomed’ by national diplomats.
The Commission say the aim is for countries to have ‘common criteria’ on which to base future decisions about lockdowns, with individual governments still deciding travel restrictions internationally.
Newsite ShengenVisaInfo reports three criteria which the Commission wants member states to judge other countries handling of the pandemic on:
- Number of new Coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in the last two weeks prior to the evaluation
- Share of positive tests from the total of tests carried out in a seven-day period
- Number of COVID-19 tests carried out per every 100 000 people during a seven-day period
The European Commission and member states are discussing standardised ‘red to green’ colour system of country Covid levels, as well as infection rate thresholds at which to enforce a local lockdown
The proposal suggests countries with a weekly testing rate over 250 per 100,000 people should not restrict the free movement of member states where their Covid cases are equal or less than 50 per 100,000 people during a 14-day period, or positive tests account for less than 3 per cent.
These countries should be marked as green, or safe to travel to. Countries with rates above this level are labelled orange, and in more serious cases red.
Brussels has banned all non-essential travel to the bloc from non-EU countries.
Eleven countries including Australia, China, if it lifts a similar ban, South Africa and New Zealand, but not the US, are exempt. The UK has not implemented the ban and, because it shares the Common Travel Area with Britain, neither has Ireland.
Brussels’ recommendations say that EU members should not refuse entry to people travelling from other member states, even if they arrive from high- risk zones, but that they could require quarantine or Covid-19 tests.
But the Commission’s plans don’t involve the UK, which will be treated as a non-EU country when the Brexit transition period ends on December 31
Today the UK government announced a ban on gatherings of more than six to try to halt a second wave of coronavirus as new cases almost hit 3,000
Once the UK has left the Customs Union and Single Market at the end of the year, it will be treated as a non-EU country.
One EU diplomat described the commission plans as ‘laudable’ and said there would be increased co-ordination and communication between member states after border restrictions were reintroduced in the passport-free
Schengen Zone at the height of the crisis. ‘Member states are clear they consider the assessment of risk and deci- sion on restrictions will remain their own,’ the diplomat said.
Today the UK government announced a ban on gatherings of more than six to try to halt a second wave of coronavirus as new cases almost hit 3,000.
In his first reversal of the easing of national lockdown, Boris Johnson last night warned a surge in cases must not be allowed to get out of control.
From Monday it will be illegal to assemble in groups of seven or more anywhere in England, whether indoors or out.