How Does Monkeypox Affect Travel to EU & What Travel Restrictions Have Been Introduced So Far?

About 100 cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in nine European countries such as Spain, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, France, Sweden, Italy, and the Netherlands. In addition, such cases have been confirmed in other countries such as the United States, Canada, and Australia, while the outbreak was first identified in the United Kingdom.

Monkeypox is considered a rare viral infection, which has a mortality rate of less than four per cent among humans. However, getting infected with such a virus could be accompanied by chills, aches, and fever, reports.

Once the fever breaks, a rash could be noticed, which can be itchy or painful, and wounds can occur on the face or genitals, with the symptoms disappearing between 14 to 21 days.

As per countries, there are 40 confirmed cases of monkeypox in Spain, with another 67 people currently being tested. The majority of these cases have been traced to an adult sauna party in Madrid and another pride festival on Canary Island, with five suspect cases being recorded in the region.

Furthermore, three positive cases have been recorded in Belgium, with the local media reporting that those cases traced back to the festival Darklands. Belgium is the first country to impose a quarantine for such cases, as those have to be isolated for 21 days. Contact cases are exempt from quarantine requirements but must remain vigilant and avoid contact.

In addition, there are 14 new cases of monkeypox reported in Portugal, bringing the total to 37, with the majority of those infected being young men. Italy has recorded four cases, with two of those reported staying in the Canary Islands, where the outbreak is believed to have started.

Denmark reported its first suspect case of monkeypox on Monday, and the suspect person had reported recently returned from a trip to Spain.

Just like Belgium, the United Kingdom has also introduced a quarantine requirement of 21 days for confirmed cases, as the official guidance from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) pointed out.

As of Monday, a total of 57 cases have been confirmed, with the first case being reported in Scotland earlier this week.

Although only a few countries have introduced travel restrictions, the regional director at the World Health Organization (WHO), Hans Kluge, has warned that stricter restrictions can be applied in the EU.

“As we enter the summer season… with mass gatherings, festivals, and parties, I am concerned that transmission could accelerate,” Kluge said.

On the other hand, the number of positive cases with COVID-19 throughout the EU has been dropping, with the countries lifting their travel restriction as the summer season kicks off.

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