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EU strongly discourages non-essential travel

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Brussels, Jan 22 (IANS) Leaders of the European Union (EU) have agreed to consider further restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus by strongly discouraging non-essential travel between member states, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.

“All non-essential travel should be strongly discouraged both within the country and of course across borders,” Xinhua news agency quoted von der Leyen as saying at a press conference following a video summit of all 27 EU countries on Thursday.

She added that borders have to remain open for essential workers and that the European single market has to continue functioning without problems.

The leaders also agreed to introduce another colour code — dark red — to indicate where the virus is circulating at a very high level, according to Von der Leyen.

The European Commission President also stressed the need to accelerate vaccination, insisting that the summer deadline for the inoculation of at least 70 per cent of the adult population was “doable”.

She said the EU is working closely with the European Medicines Agency and vaccine producers to “provide more predictability and stability” of the delivery process.

Noting “it is our interest to share early enough vaccines with other regions of the world,” the EU leader said she had suggested a mechanism to share access to some of the bloc’s vaccines.

–IANS

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