European Commission sets travel limit. | Sergio G. Canizaress


The Balearic Islands should be in isolation according to new criteria set by the European Commission.

The incidence rate in the Balearic Islands is 689 cases per 100,00 inhabitants, which is well above the limit of 500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants for travel between regions and EU countries that's been set by the EC.

The average for Spain as a whole is 774 which also exceeds the threshold, according to the Ministry of Health.

Given the high risk associated with new, highly contagious variants of coronavirus, the European Commission is proposing that travel to and from areas with a cumulative incidence of more than 500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 14 days be avoided at all costs.

The Commission wants to tighten restrictions to curb the spread of the virus and has called on Member States to discourage non-essential travel until the situation improves.

"The first recommendation is not to travel," said Swedish Socialist Commissioner Ylva Johansson at a press conference in Brussels to present the details of a proposal that has already been put forward by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Most Spanish communities are above the European Commission's 500 case limit set: Extremadura has 1,381, Murcia has 1,371, Castilla y León has 1,351, Valencia has 1,339, La Rioja has 1,266, Castilla-La Mancha has 1,248, Melilla has 971, Madrid has 946, Andalusia has 915, Aragon has 751, Galicia has 700, Catalonia has 639 and Ceuta has 515.

The few that are below the threshold are, Asturias with 494, Navarre with 471, the Basque Country with 457, Cantabria with 411 and the Canary Islands with 189.

ECOC risk classification map.

The European Commission has called for the creation of a new "dark red" category on the risk classification map published periodically by the European Centre for Disease Control & Prevention or ECDC, to identify areas most at risk of exceeding 500 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants. If a fourth colour is added, at least a dozen countries would be dyed dark red, including Spain.

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