The European Commission has put forward a roadmap to guide Member States as they look to lift coronavirus confinement measures in the future. The announcement acknowledges that there are still extraodinary firefighting measures to be taken before this point is reached, but that certain key principles for exit strategy should be addressed.
The roadmap's key principles are:
- Timing is essential
- Epidemiological criteria demonstrating the decreased and stabilised spread of disease
- Sufficient health system capacity
- Appropriate monitoring capacity
- European approach
- Science with public health at its centre
- Coordination between Member States
- Respect and solidarity
- Phasing out requires:
- Gathering harmonised data and the development of robust reporting and contact tracing systems that respect data privacy
- Expanding testing capacity
- Increasing national health care systems' capacities for resilience
- Reinforcing medical and personal protective equipment capacities
- Developing safe and effective treatments and medicines.
The roadmap also lists a series of concrete recommendations that Member States should consider when planning to lift containment measures. These include:
- Actions should be gradual
- General measures should be progressivley replaced by targeted ones
- Internal border controls should be lifted in a coordinated manner
- Re-start of economic activity should be phased-in
- Gatherings of people should be progressivley permitted based on activity
- Efforts to prevent spread of the virus should be sustained
- Actions should be constantly monitored.
Read more about the Commission's advice for strategically planning the recovery from the COVID-19 outbreak here.