European Union members have been the subject of a furious tirade from Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel over his country’s exclusion from their travel exemptions. Mr Bettel insisted Luxembourg should not be penalised for following World Health Organisation (WHO) and conducting widespread coronavirus testing. Addressing the issue as he arrived to the latest EU Summit in Brussels, the Luxembourgish leader said: “When I speak of solidarity, I explain to colleagues we’re following the recommendations of the WHO and the CDC to check, check, check.
“We cannot penalise those countries that do that because if we do that, it’s normal we find a lot of positive cases.
“Today, Luxembourg is excluded from some countries simply because it’s doing its job.”
Luxembourg has experienced an incresed number of COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks, sparking some EU member states to prevent travellers from the country to move freely through the union.
Some countries, including Ireland, have put out an advisory warning their citizen to “avoid non-essential travel” to Luxembourg.
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Germany declared the country at risk of a resurgence of cases despite data from the University of Oxford showing Luxembourg’s replication (R) rate at an average 0.7 compared to Berlin’s 0.6.
France and Belgium are currently grappling with an R rate of 1.1 and 1.3 respectively.
Half of EU member states currently have an infection rate above 1 and several Eastern European countries including Romania and Bulgaria currently stand at above 4.
Mr Bettel’s call for solidarity comes amidst an ongoing row among members over the proposed coronavirus recovery fund.
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She continued: “The whole world is watching us to see whether Europe is able to stand up united and to overcome this corona-related crisis stronger.
“With a convincing European budget, with Next Generation EU, we have the chance not only to overcome the crisis but also to modernise our single market and our union to bring forward the European Green Deal and the digitalisation.
“This day today is of utmost importance.”