A week before Christmas, the COVID-19 situation remains a disadvantage for all those who plan to travel to most European Union Member States.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has disclosed through its latest update of maps published on December 16 that the majority of European Union countries continue to be highly affected by the COVID-19 disease and its new variant.
Therefore, taking into account the increased infection rates and the circulation of the Omicron variant, ECDC has highly suggested that everyone refrains from taking any unnecessary trips during this period.
In line with the data provided by the EU Health Agency, almost all EU/Schengen Area countries are currently coloured dark red as they have registered over 500 infection cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last couple of weeks and have had a test positivity rate of more than four per cent.
The countries that are considered highly affected by the virus, at least for now, are France, Portugal, Greece, Germany, Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Czechia, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Slovenia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, and Denmark.
Travel to the areas mentioned above is highly discouraged, especially for those who haven’t been vaccinated or recovered from the virus, as the risk of contracting the virus and developing severe symptoms is higher for unprotected persons.
British tourists have been banned from France amid concern over the “extremely rapid” rise in Omicron COVID cases in the UK.
From 11 pm on Friday, France barred travel to and from Britain without “compelling reasons” – which do not include tourism and business.
It added that for those able to travel from the UK under a “compelling reason”, there will be the obligation to register the address of their stay in France.
More than 93,000 people have tested positive for Covid in the past day, in what is a new record as the highly infectious Omicron variant spreads.
It is the third day in a row the UK has broken its record number of Covid cases.
A total of 93,045 new people had a confirmed positive test result as of 9am on Friday 17 December, according to government data, bringing the total to 11,190,354 since the start of the pandemic.