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09th Nov 2020

Travel traffic light system now in place across European Union

Jade Hayden

Here’s what you need to know.

The European Union’s new travel traffic light system has come into place today.

The system, which provides a universal categorisation of EU countries’ Covid risk levels, will determine each country as either green, orange, or red.

Travellers coming from green countries will be permitted to enter Ireland and move freely. Those from orange countries do not have to restrict their movements if they have a negative Covid test three days before their departure.

Visitors from red countries will need to restrict their movements for 14 days.

The new system does not apply to those travelling for essential work, for certain family reasons, or for medical reasons.

At the moment, Greenland is the only country in the EU in the green category. Finland, Norway, and parts of Greece are categorised as orange, while the rest of Europe is red.

The traffic light system will updated every seven days by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

“EU countries have agreed on a coordinated approach to the restriction of free movement in response to the coronavirus pandemic,” they say.

“This includes a colour code for the classifications of regions – green, orange, yellow and grey – based on the epidemiological situation there.

“They also agreed on common criteria that they should apply when deciding whether to introduce travel restrictions, a common approach for travellers from ‘red areas’ (testing and self-quarantine), as well as on providing more clear and timely information to the public.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs has advised against all non-essential travel from Ireland since the beginning of the pandemic.