Greece appears among the few EU countries that are partly ‘green’ and therefore considered ‘low risk areas’ regarding coronavirus (Covid-19) cases, on the first health map released by the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC).
Aiming to provide data to help countries better coordinate their travel restrictions, the new weekly colour-coded map shows the risk levels across the regions in Europe, based on local epidemiological data and by using a traffic light system.
Regions are indicated in the colours ‘green’, ‘orange’, ‘red’ and ‘grey’.
What the ECDC’s 1st map tells us
Only three EU and Schengen countries (Greece, Norway and Finland) and the Calabria region in Italy, are partly ‘green’, showing that the total number of newly notified Covid-19 cases was less than 25 per 100,000 residents in the last 14 days AND the percentage of positive tests from all Covid-19 tests was less than 4%.
Five countries (Italy, Cyprus, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia) are, for the most part, ‘orange’, meaning (a) that the total number of newly notified Covid-19 cases was less than 50 per 100,000 residents in the last 14 days BUT the percentage of positive tests from all Covid-19 tests was 4% or more OR (b) that the total number of newly notified Covid-19 cases was between 25 and 150 BUT the percentage of positive tests from all Covid-19 tests was less than 4%.
More than half of EU countries, as well as the United Kingdom, are shown ‘red’ and designated high-risk areas, meaning (a) that the total number of newly notified Covid-19 cases was more than 50 per 100,000 residents in the last 14-day period AND the percentage of positive tests from all Covid-19 tests was 4% or more OR (b) the total number of newly notified Covid-19 cases was more than 150 per 100,000 people in the last 14 days.
Germany, Austria, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland are the countries that appear ‘grey’ on the map, which means that either there was insufficient data available to assess the demanded criteria OR the testing rate was lower than 300 cases per 100,000 residents.
All other countries in Western and Central Europe (excluding the Western Balkans) appear ‘red’ on the map.
Commission: European citizens’ lives will be easier
The map released by ECDC is part of the European Commission’s recommendation on a coordinated approach to the restrictions of free movement in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which was recently approved by EU ministers.
“The EU common approach to travel measures will make European citizens’ lives easier,” the Commission said on Twitter.
According to the Commission’s recommendation, on the basis of the map, member states are expected to decide whether they introduce certain restrictions, such as quarantine or tests, on travellers coming from other areas.
The Commission has informed that through the map, together with the information made available on the ‘Re-open EU‘ web platform, travellers should be able to tell whether they can expect to be subject to certain measures if they travel to another region in the EU.
According to the ECDC, the colour-coded map is based on data reported by EU member states to the European Surveillance System (TESSy) database by 23:59 every Tuesday or that are available to ECDC from official sources.
The ECDC will update the map every Thursday.