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EU to introduce new pandemic measures, including dark red zones of infections

Dark red zones with particularly high levels of infection, strengthened rules on coronavirus testing and quarantine, and discouraging non-essential travel are some of the new pandemic measures that member states adopted on Monday in the EU Council.

According to them , a new colour will be added to the existing categories of green, orange, red and gray zones – dark red. It will be included in the weekly map published by ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control). This colour will apply to areas where the coronavirus is common or has a variant of concern.

Dark red zones have been defined as areas where the cumulative reporting rate for coronavirus over 14 days is 500 out of 100,000. people or more.

Member States of the EU should discourage any non-essential travel to the red and dark red areas, while not blocking the borders for essential travel when enforcing the new pandemic measures.

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Member States should also require travellers from an area classified as dark red to undergo a coronavirus test prior to arrival and be quarantined upon arrival.

Given the increased capacity to test for the coronavirus, the EU Council has determined that there is nothing to prevent member states from being able to require travelers arriving from orange, red and gray areas to take a pre-departure test.

Transport sector workers should not be required to undergo testing. 

Rapid antigen testing should be used when a Member State requires them to undergo testing.

People who live in border regions and cross the border on a daily or frequent basis, for example for work, study or family purposes, should not be required to undergo testing or quarantine. If testing is required, the frequency of these tests should be “proportional”.

From Brussels, Łukasz Osiński (PAP),