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TRAVELLING TO FRANCE

Where can you travel in Europe? EU launches new website to help tourists

The new website Re-open.eu gives detailed, country-specific information about potential travel restrictions, what services are open as well as the latest on the coronavirus spread.

Where can you travel in Europe? EU launches new website to help tourists
Photo: Screenshot Reopen.europa.eu

The European Commission launched the website along with an app on Monday, to help tourists choose their holiday destination this summers as borders reopen across the territory.

The website is called “Re-open EU” and contains regularly updated information available in 24 languages.

Users may select their preferred language and country of destination on the website, click on “go!” and find an interactive map providing the latest information on key point for travellers, such as

  • Is travel into the country for tourism purposes possible?
  • Are non-essential (other than medicine and food) shops open?
  • Are there any risk areas under lockdown in this country?

For example, in Italy (see below), the health situation is qualified as “green” by the EU at this point, which means that there are no areas in the country that are currently under lockdown.

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Photo: Screenshot EU

In fact, the only EU country qualified as red at this point is France, which has been given the colour because its overseas territories Mayotte and French Guiana still follow some lockdown restrictions. In mainland France, however, the lockdown has been lifted.

When looking at travel restrictions, there are still several countries that have not completely eased their border controls yet (see picture below).

Details about what kind of border controls remain in place can be found for each country. 

Photo: Screenshot EU

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HEALTH

Sweden registers first confirmed case of monkeypox

One person in Sweden has a confirmed case of monkeypox, health authorities said Thursday following similar cases in Europe and North America.

Sweden registers first confirmed case of monkeypox

The rare disease usually manifests itself through fever, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion and a rash on the hands and face.

“One person in the Stockholm region has been confirmed to be infected with monkey pox,” Sweden’s Public Health Agency said in a statement.

The infected person “is not seriously ill, but has been given care,” according to the agency.

“We still don’t know where the person was infected. An investigation is currently underway,” Klara Sonden, an infectious disease doctor and investigator at the agency, said in a statement.

The health authority is now “investigating with the regional infection control centres whether there are more cases in Sweden,” it said.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) also said Thursday it expects to publish a first risk assessment report “early next week.”

The European Union agency, which said it was “monitoring the situation closely”, recommends that “suspected cases should be isolated and tested and notified promptly.”

Several dozen suspected or confirmed cases of monkeypox have been detected since the beginning of May in Europe and North America, stoking fears that the disease is beginning to spread.

The UK, which first reported cases in early May, on Wednesday evening reported a total of nine cases in the country.

On Wednesday, Spain, Portugal, Canada and the United States all reported having cases of confirmed or suspected monkeypox.

Authorities have generally been reassuring, with Spanish and Portuguese officials stressing that the disease is not very contagious between humans.

The increase in cases is nevertheless worrying, and the World Health Organization (WHO) said Monday it was looking closely at the issue and in particular that some of the cases in the UK appeared to have been transmitted within the gay community.

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