The EU has approved a ‘traffic light’ system designed to coordinate approaches to travel betwen member states.

The system to establish a common protocol for travel restrictions was approved by commissioners last month and was adopted by the European Council at a meeting in Luxembourg on Tuesday.

Under the agreement, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control will publish a weekly map with each region given a green, amber or red rating based on levels of new cases in the preceding 14 days and the rate of positive tests.

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said: “We welcome this agreement to bring more order to a currently confusing situation.

“The coming together of member states sends a strong signal to citizens and is a clear example of the EU acting where it absolutely should.

“We have learned our lessons: we will not surmount the crisis by unilaterally closing borders, but by working together.”

Despite the approval of the system, countries are still able to set their own policies in relation to quarantine and testing, and a number of members abstained from the vote.