Omicron variant, travel and new rules: the news in the EU

What happens in Italy and France, the squeeze on departures and entries into EU countries

Not only Italy. With the Omicron variant of the covid increasingly present to threaten Europe, which sees infections growing week by week, other EU countries decide on new travel rules and restrictions to limit the risk of spreading the new variant. After the announcement of Ireland, Portugal and Greece – which yesterday decided that all travelers arriving in the country, whether vaccinated or not, from next Sunday will have to present a molecular swab with a negative result – it is today that of France that launches a close to arrivals and departures to and from the UK.


“The entry buffer” for those arriving in Italy from other EU countries “is a guarantee, so it is right to have it. There is a lot of talk about healthcare dictatorship, but the real dictator is the virus. Everyone makes his own strategies, you have to copy those best, one of the best strategies in the last 4 months is that of Italy and the other countries are copying us. Britain is now invaded by the Omicron variant, what will happen there will be a lesson for us to implement other measures against the only true dictator who is the virus “. Undersecretary of Health Pierpaolo Sileri said this to the microphones of ‘Italy has awakened’ on Radio Cusano Campus.

“Italy – recalled Sileri – has a better situation than that of other European countries. Cases are rising and will continue to rise, the Omicron variant will spread, thinking we can block it is impossible, our task – he clarified the undersecretary – is to try to slow down as much as possible the spread of our country. This variant unfortunately coincides with the holidays as unfortunately also that of last year “.


France strengthens controls for those arriving from the United Kingdom, where the new variant is on the rise and yesterday the record of infections was recorded since the beginning of the pandemic. In fact, from Saturday, only travelers “residing in France and their family members” will be able to enter the country from Great Britain. Travel to and from Great Britain will be restricted for all others, both unvaccinated and vaccinated, only for “urgent reasons”, which do not include tourism or work, reads a statement released by the French government.


In Israel, the ban on non-resident foreign nationals from entering Israel is extended by at least one week until 29 December. This was announced by the Tel Aviv Ministry of Health, while fears about the omicron variant are growing in the country. According to local media reports, the same ministry has added seven countries – including Spain, France and the Emirates – to the ‘red’ list (the highest level of risk) and is considering including the United States and Germany as well. The other four states on the red list are Ireland, Norway, Sweden and Finland.


At EU level “the best thing for travel would be to have widespread tests, masks and vaccinations, but not to stop them”. This was underlined on the sidelines of the European Council in Brussels by Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins.