BRUSSELS. Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- The European Commission on Friday unveiled a plan for a coordinated approach to the restriction of movement resulting from measures being implemented by individual member states to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
In a proposal to the European Council, the Commission said it wanted the restrictions on free movement to be coordinated and clearly communicated at the level of the European Union (EU).
It called for common criteria and thresholds on which the decisions about travel restrictions are based, including through the use of a color code, a common framework for measures applied to travelers from high-risk areas as well as clear and timely information to the public about any restrictions.
The criteria are aimed at eliminating the wide discrepancy between national criteria for introducing measures that restrict free movement in the EU. The proposed color code will group countries in four categories: green, orange, red and grey.
The Commission recommended taking into consideration the total number of new infections per 100,000 people in a given area in a 14-day period, the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests and the number of tests carried out per 100,000 people in a given area during a seven-day period.
It urged the EU member states not to restrict travel from states where the number of new cases is less than 50 per 100,000 in a 14-day period or when the percentage of positive tests from all COVID-19 tests in a given area is below three percent.
"We must avoid further disruption of already fragile economies and additional uncertainty for citizens who have made huge sacrifices. They expect this from us after so many months living with COVID-19," said European Commissioner for Health Stella Kyriakides.
Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders said: "Our right to move freely in the EU has been heavily impacted by the pandemic... We are proposing straightforward criteria, applicable without discrimination, which are easy to follow by member states and enable us to inform Europeans properly."