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EU Sounds Cautionary Note on Virus With New Travel Guidance

(Bloomberg) — European Union regulators offered a fresh set of safe-travel recommendations in bid to make it easier for people to cross national borders within the bloc while guarding against another resurgence of the coronavirus.



a group of people walking down a street: Travelers queue to enter the Covid-19 test center, operated by Centogene NV, at Frankfurt Airport in Frankfurt, Germany, on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. A spat has broken out between senior officials in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc over coronavirus rules for travelers arriving in Germany from areas designated as risky.


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Travelers queue to enter the Covid-19 test center, operated by Centogene NV, at Frankfurt Airport in Frankfurt, Germany, on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. A spat has broken out between senior officials in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc over coronavirus rules for travelers arriving in Germany from areas designated as risky.

The guidelines in the run-up to the end-of-year holidays are the latest attempt to strike a balance between the responsibility of EU governments for health policy and the role of the European Commission in preventing barriers in the bloc’s single market.

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The commission, the 27-nation EU’s regulatory arm, accompanied its latest recommendations with an appeal for prudence. The goal is to avoid a repeat of a rush to looser measures — something that EU countries did several months ago in a bid to salvage the summer tourist season and that fueled spikes in Covid-19 infections.

“Like everything else this year, end-of-the-year festivities will be different,” EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said in a statement on Wednesday in Brussels. “We cannot jeopardize the efforts made by us all in the recent weeks and months.”

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At the same time, the EU’s disease-control and aviation agencies issued a separate set of non-binding guidelines that urge member countries to avoid treating travelers as automatic high-risk sources of Covid-19 because the virus is now “well established” across the bloc.

“In such a scenario, testing and quarantine have only a limited impact on reducing the risk of spread, particularly with respect to travel between areas of similar risk or when moving from less risky ‘green’ areas to ‘orange’ or ‘red’ areas with greater prevalence of the disease,” the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the European Aviation Safety Agency said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.

European airline and airport groups, which have been vocal critics of what they say has been a patchwork of measures across Europe to tackle the pandemic, jumped on the ECDC-EASA input to call for an end to quarantines on travelers.

European governments should “immediately abolish quarantine measures and other travel restrictions,” Airlines for Europe and the Airports Council International Europe said in an emailed statement.

Following are the latest commission travel-related recommendations to EU governments:

Where available, encourage people who intend to travel to get the season flu vaccine.Strongly discourage people with symptoms of Covid-19 from travelingWhere possible, increase public transport options and capacities to reduce crowdingRequire the use of masks in public transport and ensure all vehicles are well ventilatedEnsure that workers in transport, tourism and other exposed sectors have protection measuresEnsure that, if quarantine and testing of travelers are requested, these requirements are proportionate and non-discriminatoryAssess how testing can lead to the lifting of quarantine or other

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This is no vacation or free period, says Delhi court; takes strong note of staff avoiding work

New Delhi, Nov 9 (PTI) This period is not a “vacation or leave, free period”, a Delhi court has said while taking strict note against court staff avoiding work on one pretext or other, when called for duty.

District Judge Yashwant Kumar directed the staff of Karkardooma District courts complex here to not leave their work station without prior permission from the competent authority/concerned judicial officers.

The judge ordered the staff to report for duty as and when called by the respective judicial officers or administrative branch and to submit their leave application on account of absence from duty.

“It has come to the notice of the undersigned (District Judge Kumar) that now-a-days some of the staff officials avoid to perform duties on one pretext or another, as and when they are called for duties by the respective Judicial Officers/Administration Branch,’ said a circular issued on November 7.

‘It is hereby informed that this period is not ‘Vacation or leave free period’ and all officials are required to submit their leave application/s on account of their absence from duty,’ it said.

The circular directed: “It is ordered that the staff officials shall report for duty as and when called by the respective Officer/Administration Branch. If any official is not in a position to attend his/her duties, for any reason, then he/she shall give prior intimation to this effect to their concerned Judicial Officers/ Reader/ Administrative Officer (Judicial) and shall also submit leave application.” It further said that the officials were directed to ensure strict compliance of the directions, failing which disciplinary action should be taken against the erring staff.

All the six district courts in the national capital have been working in a restricted manner due to COVID-19 pandemic in the country. The courts have started physical hearing of cases in a restricted manner, with some conducting proceedings physically and others through video conferencing each day, since September. PTI URD SA

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