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The EU General Affairs Council yesterday approved recommendations to coordinate measures restricting freedom of movement in the European Union to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. “The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our daily lives in many ways. Movement restrictions have created difficulties for some of our fellow citizens when it comes to getting to work, school or their loved ones. This indicates our shared duty to ensure coordination of all measures affecting freedom of movement and to provide our fellow citizens with all the information they need when deciding to move, “said the German State Minister for European Affairs Michael Roth, presiding over the EU Council.

As explained in Brussels, these recommendations are aimed at eliminating fragmentation in the approaches of member states to this problem. They propose enhancing transparency and predictability of government actions for citizens and businesses.

The recommendations are based on the principle that “any restrictive measure for free movement in order to protect public health must be proportionate and non-discriminatory”. In addition, such a measure should be canceled as soon as the epidemiological situation allows.

Member states must provide the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) with the following data every week: the number of recorded cases of coronavirus infection per 100 thousand population in the last 14 days, the number of COVID-19 tests in the last week per 100 thousand population, percentage of tests with a positive result in the last week.

Based on this data, the ECDC will publish a weekly map of the European Union with a regional breakdown of countries to help EU authorities make appropriate decisions.

The zones according to the degree of infection with COVID-19 on this map will be marked with the following color codes: green, orange and red, each of which will be associated with the number of coronavirus infections per 100 thousand people and the percentage of positive tests per 100 thousand inhabitants. A gray color is also introduced for areas for which there is little information or where there is an insufficient number of tests.

The recommendations emphasize that EU member states cannot restrict the free movement of people to or from green areas. When imposing restrictions, the epidemiological difference between the red and orange zones must be taken into account in order to apply proportional measures.

EU member states should in principle not deny entry to citizens of other EU countries. In cases where the authorities of one or another EU state consider it necessary to impose restrictions, they can require visitors from the red, orange, gray, but not green, zones to either go to quarantine or undergo testing upon arrival. In this case, travelers should be given the opportunity to present a test conducted prior to their arrival.

EU countries may also require that persons entering their territory fill out forms indicating their location. In this regard, it is proposed to develop a common European form for widespread use in the European Union.

A source:Finmarket

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

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