International border closures in countries like France and Spain have been ineffective in stopping the coronavirus pandemic according to a report from the EU´s Disease Agency.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) based in Sweden also said that restrictions across the EU such as testing travellers before departure or temperature screening on arrival are also largely ineffective.
The agency essentially said that countries like Spain and France shutting down their borders to all but essential travellers only produced a delay in the pandemic happening, whilst creating very serious negative economic effects.
The report stated: “Available evidence does not support recommending border closures, which will cause significant secondary effects and societal and economic disruption in the EU.”
The comments from the ECDC are interesting as their priority is to limit the spread of any disease, and despite European Commission recommendations back in April on easing some border restrictions between countries with low virus rates, most member states stepped back then from loosening any measures that had been put into place.
As international air travel is set to resume between parts of Europe soon, the ECDC made its views known on some procedures that are already being trialled in some airports.
It said that scanning any passengers for any increased temperatures would not reveal the full picture as they might have the coronavirus but still show no obvious symptoms like a fever.
The ECDC also said that producing a piece of paper ahead of embarking on a trip saying that they were clear of the virus in a test taken a few days earlier, would have only a limited use, as their circumstances could have changed since then.
They also challenged the concept of people producing a certificate saying that they were immune from the virus after an antibody test, as they believe that some of the tests were not 100 per cent reliable.