Covid19 update: EU removes six countries from Covid safe travel list

Henri-Coanda international airport, in Otopeni, Romania. The EU’s ‘white list’ necessitates countries having fewer than 75 new cases daily for every 100,000 people over the previous 14 days. Photograph: Robert Ghement/EPA

The EU has removed six countries, including the US, from a Covid “white list” of places whose tourists should be permitted entry without restrictions such as mandatory quarantine.

  • A majority of EU countries had reopened their borders to Americans in June, in the hope of salvaging the summer tourism season although most required a negative test ahead of travel.  But the move was not, however, reciprocated by the US.
  • The EU’s white list necessitates having fewer than 75 new cases daily for every 100,000 people over the previous 14 days, a threshold that is not currently being met in the US.
  • Two counties in the US state of Oregon, hit hard by Covid-19, are running out of space to hold bodies amid an intense surge in cases that is overwhelming the state’s healthcare system. It’s forcing authorities to request refrigerated trucks to help handle the overflow.
  • Meanwhile, South African scientists have detected a new coronavirus variant that may have increased transmissibility. Scientists are yet to establish whether it is more contagious or able to overcome the immunity provided by vaccines or prior infection.
  • Japan’s health minister says it is highly likely that foreign matter found in Moderna Inc Covid-19 vaccines in the southern prefecture of Okinawa came about when needles where stuck incorrectly into vials.
  • Australia has reported a huge increase in illegal importations of ivermectin, which is typically used to deworm livestock, prompting health authorities to warn people against using it as a treatment for Covid-19.

However, schools across Europe must stay open and be made safer for staff and children, the WHO and UNICEF have demanded, as a new term gets underway with the highly transmissible Delta variant still dominant in the region.