EU leaders agree to continue to keep borders open up, want to restrict travels

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union leaders agreed that borders need to stay open and assessed

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union leaders agreed that borders need to stay open and assessed extra measures to counter the spread of coronavirus variants throughout a online video summit Thursday as the bloc’s top rated disease control official explained urgent motion was needed to stave off a new wave of hospitalizations and fatalities.



European Council President Charles Michel, top, and European leaders are shown on screen during a EU summit video conference at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. Worried that the new coronavirus variants could result in another surge of deaths across the European Union and push hospitals to the verge of collapse, EU leaders will assess in a video summit Thursday such measures as further border restrictions, better tracking of mutations and improving coordination of lockdowns. (Oliver Hoslet, Pool Photo via AP)


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European Council President Charles Michel, major, and European leaders are proven on display in the course of a EU summit video clip convention at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. Nervous that the new coronavirus variants could consequence in an additional surge of fatalities throughout the European Union and drive hospitals to the verge of collapse, EU leaders will evaluate in a movie summit Thursday this sort of measures as additional border limits, much better monitoring of mutations and strengthening coordination of lockdowns. (Oliver Hoslet, Pool Image through AP)



European Council President Charles Michel talks to his team before an online working meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, Pool)


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European Council President Charles Michel talks to his crew just before an on-line doing the job meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. (AP Photograph/Francisco Seco, Pool)

Expressing terrific concern about the virus’ mutations, the 27 leaders appeared at even further border restrictions like restrictions on all non-crucial travel, superior tracking of mutations and improving coordination of lockdowns.

Although worried that yet another surge of deaths across the EU was imminent, they could not quickly concur on irrespective of whether or not to halt non-crucial journey.

“It is of excellent relevance not to journey, but you can’t quickly enforce this lawfully,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte reported after the meeting connect with.



European Council President Charles Michel, left, chairs a EU summit video conference at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021.  Worried that the new coronavirus variants could result in another surge of deaths across the European Union and push hospitals to the verge of collapse, EU leaders will assess in a video summit Thursday such measures as further border restrictions, better tracking of mutations and improving coordination of lockdowns. (Olivier Hoslet, Pool Photo via AP)


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European Council President Charles Michel, left, chairs a EU summit online video conference at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. Fearful that the new coronavirus variants could consequence in a further surge of fatalities throughout the European Union and press hospitals to the verge of collapse, EU leaders will evaluate in a video summit Thursday such measures as further border limits, improved monitoring of mutations and bettering coordination of lockdowns. (Olivier Hoslet, Pool Photo by means of AP)

European Fee president Ursula von der Leyen insisted on the worth of maintaining borders open to make sure that merchandise proceed to shift effortlessly although introducing actions “that keep us all safe.”

She mentioned leaders discussed a proposal to introduce new trans-border “dark red zones” in which infections fees are particularly higher and exactly where all non-important journey must be discouraged. Vacationers from these spots could be necessary to endure exams ahead of their departure and be placed in isolation upon arrival in yet another place. Von der Leyen said the fee will make specific recommendations to member states in the coming days.



German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives wearing a protective mask for a press conference on the current situation in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. Topics include the decisions taken by the federal and state governments to combat the Corona pandemic, the Chancellor's upcoming virtual consultations with the heads of state and government of the European Union (EU), and relations with the United States following the inauguration of the new president. (Michael Kappeler/Pool via AP)


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German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives sporting a protective mask for a press conference on the latest scenario in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. Subjects consist of the selections taken by the federal and condition governments to fight the Corona pandemic, the Chancellor’s impending digital consultations with the heads of point out and govt of the European Union (EU), and relations with the United States subsequent the inauguration of the new president. (Michael Kappeler/Pool by using AP)

Some 400,000 EU citizens have died from COVID-19-related results in since the get started of the pandemic, and the head of the European Centre for Sickness Avoidance and Control, Andrea Ammon, reported that “an growing variety of bacterial infections will lead to better hospitalization and loss of life rates across all age teams, especially for people in older age groups.”



European Council President Charles Michel chairs a EU summit video conference at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. Worried that the new coronavirus variants could result in another surge of deaths across the European Union and push hospitals to the verge of collapse, EU leaders will assess in a video summit Thursday such measures as further border restrictions, better tracking of mutations and improving coordination of lockdowns. (Olivier Hoslet, Pool Photo via AP)


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European Council President Charles Michel chairs a EU summit online video meeting at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. Apprehensive that the new coronavirus variants could result in another surge of deaths across the European Union and drive hospitals to the verge of collapse, EU leaders will evaluate in a movie summit Thursday these actions as further more border constraints, superior monitoring of mutations and improving upon coordination of lockdowns. (Olivier Hoslet, Pool Picture via AP)

In a study released just just before the summit, the ECDC warned of the superior risks of the new variants, like those initiating in Britain, Brazil and South Africa. Ammon explained that “member states are also encouraged to accelerate vaccination of superior-possibility teams, and prepare the overall health treatment procedure for significant need.”

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Some EU international locations have by now strengthened restrictions by imposing stricter curfews and a lot more stringent mask necessities on community transport and in stores. Between the measures the ECDC endorses is a ban on nonessential travel and a dashing up of vaccinations.

“Most reported free motion have to survive but that it is critical to question not to to vacation,” Rutte reported. “It is crucial that we discourage vacation in Europe as substantially as doable. Never journey, merely never journey.”

Echoing the ECDC advice, Belgian Primary Minister Alexander De Croo experienced proposed a momentary ban on nonessential vacation during the February university split.

With the well being problem at a vital place, the commission also urged member states before the assembly to action up the tempo of vaccination, to guarantee that at the very least 80% of all those over age 80 are vaccinated by March, and that 70% of the adult inhabitants throughout the bloc is protected by the close of the summer season.

Charles Michel, the president of the European Council, mentioned there is “a worldwide and obvious guidance for this proposal.”

But considering the fact that the EU will not be expecting vaccines to be prepared for mass distribution in advance of April, leaders should in the meantime locate economical techniques to consist of the new variants. The commission thinks that superior tracking the virus’ mutations with genomic sequencing, coupled with an elevated use of immediate antigen exams, will be essential.



German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks to the media at a press conference on the current situation in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. Topics include the decisions taken by the federal and state governments to combat the Corona pandemic, the Chancellor's upcoming virtual consultations with the heads of state and government of the European Union (EU), and relations with the United States following the inauguration of the new president. (Michael Kappeler/Pool via AP)


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German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks to the media at a press conference on the present-day circumstance in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. Subject areas contain the conclusions taken by the federal and state governments to beat the Corona pandemic, the Chancellor’s upcoming virtual consultations with the heads of state and government of the European Union (EU), and relations with the United States following the inauguration of the new president. (Michael Kappeler/Pool by way of AP)

The EU Fee explained numerous EU nations are tests less than 1% of samples. It has proposed to “urgently” increase genome sequencing to at minimum 5% of favourable check benefits and would ideally see that determine achieve 10% to detect the variants. Member states unanimously agreed Thursday on a common framework for the use of speedy antigen exams and the mutual recognition of PCR check final results across the bloc of 450 million inhabitants.



European Council President Charles Michel arrives for a EU summit video conference at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. Worried that the new coronavirus variants could result in another surge of deaths across the European Union and push hospitals to the verge of collapse, EU leaders will assess in a video summit Thursday such measures as further border restrictions, better tracking of mutations and improving coordination of lockdowns. (Olivier Hoslet, Pool Photo via AP)


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European Council President Charles Michel arrives for a EU summit video clip convention at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. Nervous that the new coronavirus variants could final result in an additional surge of deaths across the European Union and push hospitals to the verge of collapse, EU leaders will evaluate in a video summit Thursday these actions as additional border limits, improved monitoring of mutations and enhancing coordination of lockdowns. (Olivier Hoslet, Pool Photo by using AP)

Discussions also concentrated on the disruption of vaccine deliveries after Pfizer very last week introduced a short term reduction that has impacted all EU international locations. The EU has sealed six vaccine contracts for much more than 2 billion doses, but only the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have been accepted for use so considerably.

The EU now expects Pfizer to hold the drop in deliveries limited to this 7 days, although resuming comprehensive distribution again future 7 days, with the resulting backlog made up during February.



European Council President Charles Michel removes his face mask as he chairs a EU summit video conference at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. Worried that the new coronavirus variants could result in another surge of deaths across the European Union and push hospitals to the verge of collapse, EU leaders will assess in a video summit Thursday such measures as further border restrictions, better tracking of mutations and improving coordination of lockdowns. (Olivier Hoslet, Pool Photo via AP)


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European Council President Charles Michel eliminates his encounter mask as he chairs a EU summit video clip conference at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. Nervous that the new coronavirus variants could result in yet another surge of fatalities throughout the European Union and thrust hospitals to the verge of collapse, EU leaders will evaluate in a movie summit Thursday these kinds of actions as even further border limits, much better monitoring of mutations and bettering coordination of lockdowns. (Olivier Hoslet, Pool Picture through AP)

Leaders also weighed a Greek proposal to challenge vaccination certificates to relieve vacation. But with uncertainties about irrespective of whether the men and women vaccinated could nonetheless be contagious, and only a little portion of the EU inhabitants already vaccinated, they agreed it was way too soon to decide if vaccination proof certificates should be regarded as as travel paperwork.

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Associated Press writer Geir Moulson in Berlin contributed to this report .

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Stick to AP protection of the virus outbreak at:

https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine

https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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