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Covid: Is the EU opening up?

Episode 210520 / 19 May 2021

The story

EU ambassadors have supported proposals to reopen borders for non-essential travel from countries with low infection rates of Covid-19. A list of countries from which travel will be permitted is to be agreed this week.

Useful vocabulary

ambassadors – diplomatic representatives of a country or union

proposals – suggestions

incidence – occurrence; something happened

envoys – representatives, usually on a diplomatic mission

non-essential – not vital

measures – actions

impose – enforce a rule or situation

quarantine – period of time with limited contact

adopted – accepted and started a new course of actions

recovery – return to a positive state

Questions about the story...

1. What number of infections do the EU envoys consider low?

2. Has the final list of ‘safe countries’ been decided?

3. True or false? The EU will decide on restrictions for all member states?

4. What are the possible conditions for the requirements to hold a ‘green
certificate’?

5. Which countries are currently recommended for non-essential travel?

More about the story…

What has happened?
Diplomats in Brussels have said that visitors should be allowed to enter the EU from countries with low infection rates. This would apply to countries with an incidence rate of below 75 cases per 100,000 people.

However, a ‘safe list’ of countries is still to be decided.

What other restrictions could there be?
EU envoys have also recommended that non-essential travel should be allowed from outside the EU for people who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

However, they have also gone on to say that each member state should make a decision as to what measures they impose on travellers. This could include such things as Covid tests or quarantine.

What happens next?
The envoys recommendations are expected to be adopted soon by the EU Council of member states.

However, the terms of the planned EU-wide digital green certificate are yet to be agreed upon. The certificate would include either a negative test, proof of vaccination or recent recovery from Covid.

At the moment, the EU only recommends non-essential travel from a small list of third countries, including Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand and Israel.

Find out more from the original BBC news report.

The answers

1. What number of infections do the EU envoys consider low?
Countries with an incidence rate of below 75 cases per 100,000 people.

2. Has the final list of ‘safe countries’ been decided?
No. A ‘safe list’ of countries is still to be decided.

3. True or false? The EU will decide on restrictions for all member states?
False. Each member state should make a decision as to what measures they impose on travellers.

4. What are the possible conditions for the requirements to hold a ‘green certificate’?
The certificate would include either a negative test, proof of vaccination or recent recovery from Covid.

5. Which countries are currently recommended for non-essential travel?
At the moment, the EU only recommends non-essential travel from a small list of third countries, including Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand and Israel.

Next

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