EU presents roadmap for lifting containment measures

European Council President Charles Michel

Brussels, (Asian independent) The European Union (EU) has put forward a roadmap for member states to phase out containment measures imposed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The guideline was drawn up by European Commission, the bloc’s executive branch, in cooperation with President of the European Council Charles Michel, in response to the request from member states, reports Xinhua news agency.

“It is important to consider carefully the next steps in the fight against the coronavirus. Today the European Commission presented criteria to help Member States decide when and in what order confinement measures can be gradually lifted, in a coordinated way,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Twitter on Wednesday.

According to the guideline, the member states should move cautiously as they return to normal life and base their actions on scientific advice.

“I want to make sure that this is not a signal that confinement measures can be lifted as of now, but it intends to provide a frame for Member States decisions,” she said at a press conference.

“The strength of Europe lies in its social and economic balance.”

First of all, the roadmap suggests that the government decide the timing of relaxing confinement based on following criteria: the epidemiological criteria showing that the spread of the disease has significantly decreased and stabilised for a sustained period, sufficient health system capacity and appropriate monitoring capacity.

Second, the EU asks its member states to notify each other and the European Commission before they lift measures.

The third key point is that phasing out confinement requires accompanying measures including reporting and contact tracing, expanding testing capacity, and developing safe and effective treatments and medicines.