European Commission calls on member states to limit essential travel from India
The European Commission has proposed to EU member states to apply an ’emergency brake’ on unnecessary travel and further restrict essential travel from India in order to limit the spread of B.1.617. 2, first detected in this country.
The Commission believes that such an initiative would ensure a fully coordinated response to the new strain of COVID-19 which has recently deeply affected India.
“It is important to limit to the strict minimum the categories of travelers who can travel from India for essential reasons and to subject those who can still travel from India to strict controls and quarantine provisions”, the European Commission pointed out in its statement, reports SchengenVisaInfo.com.
Such a move follows an earlier proposal from the World Health Organization, which suggested changing the classification of India’s new COVID-19 strain from “variant of interest” to “variant of concern”.
However, the EC authorities have proposed to exempt from this decision all persons traveling for imperative family reasons or those seeking international protection or similar humanitarian reasons.
“EU citizens and long-term residents, as well as their family members, should always be able to travel to Europe”, the statement reads, among others.
For these people, the European Commission has urged member states to impose additional preventive measures, such as mandatory testing and quarantine rules, stressing that these health-related measures should be enforced regardless of whether travelers have taken the drug or not. coronavirus disease vaccine.
The “emergency brake” mechanism has been put in place to stop the spread of the Coronavirus and its new strains. It allows EU Member States to temporarily restrict the entry of travelers from a third country in which the epidemiological situation has worsened.
“The recent Council recommendation covers all Member States (except Ireland) and the four non-EU Member States which have joined the Schengen area: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Swiss.” the statement clarifies.
India is the second country in the world with the highest rate of COVID-19 infection. More than 24,372,900 COVID-19 people have tested positive since the start of the pandemic and more than 266,220 have died.
Figures released by Worldometer reveal that a total of 20,432,898 people have fully recovered from the virus in India, while there are 3,673,780 active cases.
Several European countries, such as Denmark, Belgium, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Spain, Slovenia, Italy and Germany, have temporarily banned entry or tightened their restrictions on arrivals from India to prevent an increase in the number of COVID-19 infections.