EU to discuss limiting non-essential travel to Europe

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European Union health ministers will discuss limiting non-essential travel to Europe at a virtual meeting on Friday, German health minister Jens Spahn said.

“The topic of the meeting is also of course the current pandemic situation and especially the question whether and how we can restrict non-essential travel into the EU,” Spahn said in a video message posted on Twitter.

The head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen told a news conference on Thursday that the European Union’s healthcare system are at risk of being overwhelmed by the number of coronavirus cases unless authorities act quickly.

“The spread of the virus will overwhelm our healthcare systems if we do not act urgently,” she said after a video conference of EU leaders to coordinate the EU’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

She said the Commission made available 220 million euros to finance cross-border transfer of COVID-19 patients across EU countries to avoid healthcare systems in the most affected countries not being able to cope.

She also said the EU would work for the quick validation, at EU level, of rapid antigen tests.

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