Coronavirus in Europe: 23 of 27 EU states are 'red'

Not a single EU member state is "green" and only four are "amber."

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Map of Europe
Map of Europe

On Tuesday, representatives from the 27 member states of the European Union met in Luxembourg to discuss a new “traffic light” system to regulate travel across the continent. According to The Telegraph, not a single country in the EU qualifies as “green” according to the criteria developed, meaning that many borders are effectively closed until the situation changes.

EU policy now states that residents of green countries must be granted freedom of movement within the EU bloc, while each member state is free to develop its own policy regarding residents of red or amber zones.

Speaking at the meeting, the German Minister for Europe, Michael Roth, said: “It is our common duty to ensure coordination on any measures that affect free movement.” In practice, however, the new rules restrict free movement more than they permit it, as figures provided by the European Centre for Disease Prevention & Control show that not one of the EU member states is green.

A green country must conform to a number of criteria, namely, a 14-day rate of less than 25 cases per 100,000 residents, and a test positivity rate of under four percent. Amber countries have less than 50 cases per 100,000 residents and positivity rates under four percent. All other countries fall in the red category – and this includes 23 of the 27 states, with just four (Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, and Greece) in the amber category.

The UK is expected to be part of the new traffic light scheme until it leaves the EU at the end of the secular year, and it may remain within the scheme even after it leaves the bloc.

A quick glance at virus figures across the EU reveal wide disparities in the number of cases per hundred thousand residents, with the Czech Republic doing worst, with 521.49 cases, followed by Belgium with 429.49 cases, and then the Netherlands, Spain, and France. Doing best is Cyprus, with just 38.13 cases reported per hundred thousand residents – it probably helps that the country is an island. Italy, so hard hit in the first wave of the virus, is doing much better this time around with just 79.86 cases per hundred thousand residents. However, almost without exception, the European continent is struggling to contain the epidemic, with most countries having reimposed restrictions that were lifted entirely or partially over the summer. And there is still no end in sight.