EU countries continue to ease COVID-19 restrictions – Is the pandemic over?
Even though the virus continues to spread at high levels, the majority of countries in the European Union and European Economic Area have lifted or at least relaxed some of their COVID-19 restrictions over the past two months.
Iceland, Norway and Slovenia are just a few of the EU/EEA countries that have already abolished all of their COVD-19 rules.
Iceland is now allowing entry to all travelers, regardless of their country of origin, without requiring them to present a vaccination, recovery or test certificate upon arrival. In addition, the Icelandic authorities have also removed all their national measures, which means that travelers no longer need to follow any rules.
Similarly, Norway and Slovenia now allow unrestricted entry to all. Both countries have also lifted their national measures against COVID-19.
>> These 3 EU/EEA Countries Have Already Removed All COVID-19 Entry Rules
Besides these three countries, Hungary, Ireland and Romania have also abolished their entry restrictions. They are now allowing entry to all travellers, including those who have not been vaccinated, recovered or tested.
Although the other countries still maintain the entry rules in place, the majority of them have relaxed certain measures.
Austria lifted all national measures against COVID-19 on March 5. All people can now go to different public places, activities and events without having to hold a valid pass.
France has also abolished the health pass requirement. Travelers, as well as citizens of the country, can now access different locations without being restricted.
Others, such as Greece, Italy, Spain, Finland and Czechia, among others, have also relaxed their entry and national rules.
Given the relaxed rules that are being enforced right now, many assumed the COVID-19 pandemic was finally over.
However, the World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 Incident Officer for the EU region, Dr Catherine Smallwood, does not think so. Speaking for Euronews, Smallwood said she would not call the current situation the end of the pandemic.
Even if the virus does not impose serious health implications as it did in its early stages, Smallwood noted that we cannot yet pretend the virus is no longer with us, thus suggesting that everyone should at least follow the basic rules, such as getting vaccinated.
Such a declaration follows the increase in cases of infection in the EU, especially in Germany, as well as in several Asian countries, such as China and South Korea.
Germany has recorded some of the highest infection rates since the start of the pandemic. The country hit a record high last week. On March 17, German authorities revealed that the country had recorded more than 294,000 new cases of infection.