With just one week away from Christmas, the COVID-19 situation remains at a disadvantage for anyone planning to travel to the majority of European Union member states.
The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) revealed in its latest map update released on December 16 that the majority of countries in the European Union continue to be heavily affected by the COVID-19 disease and its new variant.
Therefore, given the increased infection rates and circulation of the Omicron variant, the ECDC has strongly suggested that everyone refrain from taking unnecessary trips during this time, reports SchengenVisaInfo.com.
According to data provided by the European Health Agency, almost all countries in the EU / Schengen area are currently colored dark red as they have recorded more than 500 cases of infection per 100,000 inhabitants in the last two weeks and had a test positive rate of over four percent.
Countries 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 aforementioned areas is strongly discouraged, especially for those who have not been vaccinated or have not recovered from the virus, as people are at greater risk of contracting the virus and developing severe symptoms. unprotected.
Unlike the countries on the dark red list, the epidemiological situation is more stable in Italy, Spain, Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Bulgaria, Latvia, Malta and Estonia. Nevertheless, it is always advisable for everyone to be very careful and to respect the entry rules of the country of destination.
In addition, of all the countries in the EU / Schengen Area, Romania has the best situation at the moment. Two Romanian regions are colored green, while the others are colored orange.
Regarding the Omicron variant, the ECDC revealed that as of December 16, a total of 3,158 cases have been confirmed within the EU / EEA.
Norway (1,792), Denmark (383), France (170), the Netherlands (123), Belgium (121) and Germany (102) reported the highest number of Omicron cases .
âEU / EEA countries reporting cases not epidemiologically linked to travel include Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Sweden. This indicates that an undetected community transmission could be underway in the EU / EEA â, ECDC explained.
Even though the first cases of Omicron were related to travel, the majority are now mostly acquired within the EU / EEA, suggesting that the new variant has spread locally and regionally.
>> Over 2,000 Omicron cases confirmed in EU / EEA countries, majority of them acquired in Member States