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EU Must Keep Internal Borders Open Amid Pandemic to Maintain Operation of Single Market, Michel Says

© REUTERS / POOLEuropean Council President Charles Michel addresses European lawmakers during a plenary session on the inauguration of the new President of the United States and the current political situation, at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, January 20, 2021
European Council President Charles Michel addresses European lawmakers during a plenary session on the inauguration of the new President of the United States and the current political situation, at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, January 20, 2021 - Sputnik International
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The single market in the EU came under attack due to the imposition of restrictions on movement across borders by many countries, thus worsening the economic situation of each member country and the entire Union.

In light of the raging coronavirus pandemic, the EU must keep its internal borders open to maintain the operation of the single market, the head of the European Council Charles Michel stated after the summit of EU leaders.

“We are convinced that we must keep the borders open in order to keep the internal market working,” he said.

On Thursday, the European Commission introduced the concept of "dark red" zones of the pandemic in Europe, referring to the areas with the highest spread of coronavirus in each state.

The summit also approved the decision to restrict non-essential travel of citizens, Michel added.

Earlier EU member states agreed on the mutual recognition of coronavirus tests to facilitate travel within the Union.

"Today, member states, through a written procedure, unanimously agreed with the Council's recommendation establishing a common basis for the use of rapid antigen tests and mutual recognition of test results for COVID-19 across the EU," the EU statement says.

It is considered that the mutual recognition of tests carried out by certified health authorities is "very important for facilitating cross-border travel, tracing cross-border contacts and treatment [of those infected]."

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