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Europe Revises Travel Guidance During the COVID-19 Pandemic

March 13, 2021 • 11:56 am CST
(Coronavirus Today)

Travel measures, such as quarantine and diagnostic testing, are designed to reduce the likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 transmission before, during, and after international travel, says the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

This ECDC document published on March 12, 2021, summarises the current scientific evidence to support decision-making concerning quarantine and testing of travelers, considering the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC) and the current epidemiological situation in Europe.

As of early March 2021, three VOCs with an important public health impact have already emerged and been described (P.1 first described in Brazil; B.1.351 first described in South Africa, and B.1.1.7 first described in the United Kingdom). New VOCs derived from the previous ones will continue to emerge, be detected, and characterized, says the ECDC.

As of March 12, 2021, the U.S. CDC reported the following number of variant cases in the USA:

  • UK B.1.1.7 = 3,701
  • South Africa B.1.351 = 108
  • Brazil P.1 = 17

The continual investigation of the VOCs is therefore essential to understand their impact on COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness. The ECDC says it will continue monitoring the epidemiological situation, and this guidance will be updated with all relevant evidence accordingly.

The ECDC is an EU agency aimed at strengthening Europe's defenses against infectious diseases.

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