Germany is calling on the EU Member States to ban UK tourists from entering the European Union regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the country should be classified as a “country of concern” due to the widespread of the Delta variant within UK territory.
The Chancellor wants the other EU Member States to follow the example of Germany and require all UK arrivals to stay self-isolated for 14 days, regardless of their vaccination status.
Last week, Merkel said that the EU needs to establish a unified approach regarding the travel restrictions in order to control the spread of the Delta variant, which has proven to be highly contagious.
“I will lobby for a more coordinated approach, particularly with regard to entries from regions where virus variants abound,” Merkel said.
Reportedly, plans to ban the UK from entering the EU will be discussed by senior European and national officials on the integrated political crisis response committee of the EU, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
However, it is expected that the plan to ban the UK will not be supported by several southern European countries, such as Greece, Portugal, and Spain, which strongly depend on the tourism economy.
In regards to this, the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that there is no need to impose restrictions against arrivals from non-EU countries where the Delta variant has widely spread.
“There is an answer to the question of variants – and in particular the Delta variants – and that is to speed up the vaccination process,” Mitsotakis noted.
The Delta variant is anticipated to account for more than 90 per cent of all COVID-19 cases by the end of August. As such, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) demanded from the EU public authorities to speed their vaccination rollout campaigns.
The director of ECDC, Andrea Ammon, advised that all persons who have not been fully vaccinated to continue practising social distancing rules as the Delta variant can also affect those who have received just one dose of the vaccine.
“Unfortunately, preliminary data shows that it can also infect individuals that have received only one dose of the currently available vaccines,” Ammon said.
The Delta mutation, which is responsible for the UK’s slow reopening procedures, is expected to be almost 60 per cent more infectious than the original form of COVID-19 disease.
Until now, the UK has identified a total of 4,732,439 COVID-19 infection cases and 128,100 deaths.
As of June 29, the country has administered at least 76,774,990 vaccine doses, meaning that 66.3 per cent of the entire population has received at least a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccines, whereas 48.6 per cent have been fully vaccinated.