EU traffic light system for international travel gets November start date

ireland
The European international travel scheme is due to begin on November 8th.
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Muireann Duffy

The new traffic light system for air travel will come into effect early next month.

Minister for International Transport Hildegarde Naughton has confirmed the new system will begin at midnight on Sunday, November 8th.

Countries will be classed as green, orange or red based on their incidence and positivity rates of Covid-19.

Different restrictions will apply, depending on the classification of the country passengers are coming from.

It has been suggested that passengers from green countries would not need to isolate, while people from orange countries may have to provide a negative Covid test on arrival, or take one at the destination airport.

Each country will be free to decide their own measures for international travellers, such as the need for testing or isolating, but the European Commission has stressed that measures should be similar across the bloc.

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To be given a green rating, countries must have a 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 less than 25 and a positivity rate from all Covid-19 tests of under 4 per cent, while orange will be given to those with a 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 greater than 15, but less than 50 and a positivity rate from all Covid-19 tests over 4 per cent.

Countries will be classed as red if their 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 greater than 50 and a positivity rate from all Covid-19 tests of over 4 per cent, with a grey status being given to countries who have not supplied sufficient data for an accurate rating to be given.

Ireland
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The incidence and positivity rates will be determined by data collected on each country by the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC).

Commenting on the announcement, MEP Deirdre Clune said: “I very much welcome the news that the EU traffic light system for air travel will come into effect early next month in Ireland.

"This will help with the safe movement of passengers around Europe and it is important that measures such as these are progressed to allow travel to resume in a safe manner.

“This is a very difficult time for our airlines and airports but we have to do all we can to ensure people are safe. The traffic light system will help travel to resume safely.”

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