June 24, 2021 – 23:04
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron have called on other European Union leaders to impose tougher rules on travelers from outside the EU – such as Britain – to fight the Delta version of coronavirus.
Arriving in Brussels for an EU summit, Merkel said she would lobby for a more coordinated approach, especially to tourists from regions where coronavirus variants are prevalent.
“We are obviously concerned about the Delta variant,” Merkel told reporters.
Macron urged EU countries to be extremely vigilant about the variant, which was first discovered in India.
This variant seems to be much more contagious and affects people who are not fully vaccinated.
Macron said the EU should take coordinated decisions to open borders to people from other countries.
The warnings came as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hinted that the UK was close to allowing unrestricted travel abroad for fully vaccinated people.
EU governments have agreed on a “white list” of 13 countries whose residents have travel restrictions lifted.
This list includes Australia and the United States, but lacks Britain, to which different policies apply.
France and Germany require visitors from Britain to be quarantined, while Portugal and Spain, which depend on British tourists, do not require it.
In the Lisbon region, over half of new coronavirus cases are of the Delta variant.