EU countries are keeping a close watch on the UK’s coronavirus death rate as the figures continue to diverge between Britain and most of the rest of Europe.

While France, Italy and Spain are recording a daily death toll in or nudging single figures, the UK is reporting daily deaths of more than 100 on most days. On Friday, July 17, the UK recorded 114 coronavirus deaths. On the previous day, France reported 20, Italy 17, and Spain just one coronavirus death.

If the UK does not start to close the gap in mortality rates, individual countries may decide to bar British travellers or impose quarantine restrictions.

Ireland is expected to be the first EU country to remove UK travellers from so-called green lists, a decision due to be announced on Monday, July 20.

Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Friday that “it’s very unlikely our closest neighbour will be under that threshold that we set.

“That’s really unfortunate because the two countries we would like to be opening up to in terms of international travel are the UK and US, given the integration between our economy and those two countries.

“It’s on the basis of epidemiological data and numbers, so we can compare Ireland to other countries,” he said.
At present, UK travellers are able to visit most European countries without restrictions.

PHOTO: Simon Coveney Irish Department of Foreign Affairs – Julien Behal