European travel 'green' level ceiling may change to 25 per 100,000 ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa).
Foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa). Source: Raigo Pajula

The European Union General Affairs Council is to establish the rules on how to keep the borders open in the coronavirus crisis, where the "green level" will be 25 cases per 100,000 people, which Estonia, daily newspaper Õhtuleht writes.

"Presumably, an agreement will be made that levels under 25 infected per 1000,000 people will be the "green" stage, where countries allow people to move freely," Minister of Foreign Affairs, Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) said.

Estonia's current rate is over 50 per 100,000.

"When the index rises over 25, the countries will establish the restrictions themselves, but the general agreement would be that the member states will not be closed entirely," Reinsalu said.

In the beginning, the EU had discussed taking the number of positive coronavirus tests as the basis, but this is now an additional criterion. A coronavirus index of less than 25 is considered "green" only if the number of positive tests taken in that country is less than 4 percent.

"I think this will allow us to maintain our more conservative view in the region of countries with a relatively low number of cases. On the one hand, it doesn't tie us to anything and on the other hand that we should accept the level that is in other countries and additionally, our people will get a guarantee that borders in Europe can be crossed, "Reinsalu added.

There are currently no "green" countries in Europe - the closest to this level is Cyprus with 27.7.

The positive COVID-19 test rate for Estonia is 1.65 percent, from 229,601 primary tests conducted since the end of January.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino, Andrew Whyte

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