STOCKHOLM - More than half of countries in the EU, plus the UK, were on Thursday labeled red in a new map issued by the bloc's disease control agency aimed at guiding decisions on travel restrictions.
The map was issued after EU member states decided on Tuesday to coordinate their approach to travel restrictions on other countries in response to COVID-19 outbreaks.
Seventeen of 31 countries covered by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) were labelled red or mostly red, meaning average daily cases over the previous 14-day period were 50 or higher per 100,000 inhabitants coupled with a test positivity rate of over four percent.
The red rating is if the 14-day notification rate is 150 cases or higher per 100,000.
In addition to the 27 EU countries, the ECDC covers the UK, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
A green rating means the 14-day notification rate is lower than 25 cases per 100,000 and the test positivity rate below four percent, and orange are those that fall between red and green.
Member states agreed not to impose travel restrictions on travelers from regions rated "green", but none achieved that level nationwide.
For countries that are red and orange, members states are free to decide what measures, if any, they wish to impose but could for instance require travelers coming from those countries to undergo quarantine or a COVID-19 test.
Five countries -- Austria, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland -- did not receive a rating, with the agency citing a lack of information.