Today, the Europe Commission in cooperation with the President of the European Council has presented a roadmap, recommendations and key principles to lifting the containment measures.
These point to a phased-approach that will depend on common epidemiological criteria.
A key extract:
“While recognising the specificities of each country, the European roadmap establishes the following key principles:
- Timing is essential. Deciding that the time has come to begin to relax confinement should be based on these criteria:
- Developing safe and effective treatments and medicines, as well as developing and fast-tracking the introduction of a vaccine to put an end to the coronavirus.
The Commission’s roadmap lists concrete recommendations Member States should consider when planning to lift containment measures:
- Action should be gradual: measures should be lifted in different steps, with sufficient time left between them to measure the impact.
- General measures should progressively be replaced by targeted ones. For example, protecting the most vulnerable groups for longer; facilitating the gradual return of necessary economic activities; intensifying regular cleaning and disinfection of transport hubs, shops and workplaces; replacing general states of emergencies with targeted government interventions to ensure transparency and democratic accountability.
- Internal border controls should be lifted in a coordinated manner. Travel restrictions and border controls should be removed once the border regions’ epidemiological situation converges sufficiently. External border should be reopened in a second stage and take account of the spread of the virus outside the EU.
- The re-start of economic activity should be phased-in: there are several models that can be implemented, e.g. jobs suitable for teleworking, economic importance, shifts of workers, etc. The entire population should not return to the workplace at the same time.
- Gatherings of people should be progressively permitted, taking into account the specificities of different categories of activity, such as:
- Schools and universities;
- Commercial activity (retail) with possible gradation;
- Social activity measures (restaurants, cafes) with possible gradation;
- Mass gatherings
- Efforts to prevent the spread of the virus should be sustained, with awareness campaigns to encourage the population to keep up the strong hygiene practices and social distancing.
- Action should be continuously monitored and preparedness developed for returning to stricter containment measures as necessary.
While confinement measures are gradually lifted, there is a need to strategically plan the recovery, revitalising the economy and getting back on a path of sustainable growth. This includes enabling the twin transition towards a greener and digital society, and drawing all lessons from the current crisis for the EU’s preparedness and resilience. The Commission will develop a Recovery plan, based on a revamped proposal for the next long-term EU budget (Multiannual Financial Framework) and the updated Commission Work Programme for 2020.
The full pdf document is attached.
More details can also be found on the EU Commissions webpage on coronavirus HERE.