European Union countries to halt non-essential travel from India to limit virus spread

European Union countries to halt non-essential travel from India to limit virus spread

European Union countries to halt non-essential travel from India to limit virus spread

The European Union’s executive called on countries of the bloc to temporarily halt non-essential travel from India, to limit the spread of a Covid-19 variant.

It said the restrictions should not apply to anyone travelling for compelling reasons, such as persons in need of international protection or for imperative family reasons. EU citizens and long-term residents, as well as their family members, would also be exempt.

The European Commission said its proposal followed the World Health Organisation’s proposal on Monday to reclassify the B.1.617.2 variant of Covid-19 found in India as a ‘variant of concern’, raising the alert from a ‘variant of interest’.

India’s coronavirus death count crossed 250,000 on Wednesday in the deadliest 24 hours since the pandemic began and experts around the world have expressed concern the variant first identified there may be highly transmissible.