Share article:
Share article:

EU publishes roadmap to phase out coronavirus lockdowns

© Belga

EU member states’ approach to lifting their coronavirus lockdowns should be done in coordination with each other and be based on sufficient treatment, testing and tracing capacities, EU leaders said.

The EU Commission and Council jointly published a roadmap aiming to guide member states as they begin looking at strategies to lift the containment measures aimed at halting the coronavirus pandemic.

Member states considering taking their first steps to relaxing lockdowns should ensure they meet three conditions, with the first being that efforts to flatten the curve of infections have been successful.

“This can, for example, be indicated by a sustained reduction in the number of new infections, hospitalisations and patients in intensive care,” the guidelines read.

Related News:


Secondly, governments must ensure sufficient capacity in their national health care systems, not only regarding treatment capacities in hospitals but also in terms of sufficient medical supply stocks, including medicines, as well as the availability of care structures for vulnerable groups and discharged patients.

The third condition says that countries should ensure they have the capacities for continued monitoring of the virus and for rolling out large-scale testing and contact-tracing to detect and control any potential new cases.

In a press release, the Commission said that while the lockdowns had slowed the outbreak and saved lives, it said they had come at a”dramatic cost” and that it was necessary to reawaken everyday economic and social activities.

Action taken by national governments should be gradual and be done in coordination which each other, especially as regards the lifting of border controls between EU countries, a step which should only be taken once the situation of two bordering member states “converges sufficiently.”

The EU’s external borders, shut since mid-March, should be reopened “in a second stage and take account of the spread of the virus outside the EU.”

Unveiled on Wednesday, the document’s publication comes during a week in which EU countries have begun moving in different directions regarding their national lockdowns.

It also follows statements from health experts in Belgium, but also from top officials from the World Health Organisation, who warned that it was too early to lift containment measures.

Spain and Austria this week partially lifted the containment measures for some non-essential sectors, while Denmark is expected to open schools up to primary education on Thursday.

At the same time, Romania, France and Italy have all announced their respective lockdowns will be extended further into May, while Belgian leaders are expected to announce an update of the country’s nationwide lockdown as it nears the one-month mark.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

Latest news

European Council: Decisions on Covid-19 and energy and debate on other issues
At the two-days summit which ended on Friday, the European Council adopted conclusions on COVID-19, digital, energy prices, migration, trade and ...
Flanders ‘water bomb’ could cause €2 billion in damages and affect thousands
The next "water bomb" or heavy rainfall over Flanders could cause damages estimated at around €2 billion, and could affect up to 100,000 people in ...
Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine 90% effective in 5 to 11-year-olds
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 90.7% effective in preventing symptomatic forms of the coronavirus in children aged five to 11, Pfizer announced on ...
Belgian airport named best for cargo in Europe
Brussels Airport has been named the best airport in Europe in a 2021 roundup of the best cargo airports across the world. The Asian Freight, ...
NASA plans first return mission to Moon in February 2022
The United States space agency, NASA, has announced that it will be aiming to launch its first, uncrewed mission to the moon, Artemis 1, in February ...
New, reportedly more contagious Delta mutation being monitored
A new mutation of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, which is reported to be more contagious, is being monitored by health authorities in the ...
Angèle releases new single: ‘Bruxelles je t’aime’
Belgian singer Angèle has unveiled her latest song ahead of the release of her new album, due later this year. 'Bruxelles je t'aime' (Brussels I ...
23 million chickens and 1.7 million pigs: Climate experts call for livestock cut
Flander's livestock needs to be drastically cut to save the climate and reach the emission reduction targets, according to the latest advice from the ...
Vaccination uptake surges in Wallonia following CST announcement
The number of people getting vaccinated against the coronavirus increased fourfold in Wallonia after it was announced that the Covid Safe Ticket ...
Guilty by association
BRUSSELS BEHIND THE SCENES Weekly analysis and untold stories With SAM MORGAN Other Brussels behind the scenes stories: Brussels' bid to make ...
Health minister supports use of Covid Safe Ticket in workplace
As the use of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) has been expanded in Brussels and is set to in Wallonia, federal health minister Frank Vandenbroucke has ...
Maggots show Conings may have lived longer following disappearance
Former army soldier Jürgen Conings, whose disappearance in mid-May resulted in a month-long manhunt, may have been alive for longer than has been ...