The European Commission has announced a Joint European Roadmap, a plan aimed at leading the region back from the containment measures imposed on its member countries.
In an official announcement on 15th April, the Commission advised its member nations that the exit from COVID19 containment measures should be evidence-based, gradual and coordinated between member states.
This way fast action can be taken should rates of infection start to rise.
Within the Schengen area, the Commission advises countries to lift controls “once the border regions’ epidemiological situation converges sufficiently and social distancing rules are widely and responsibly applied.”
Reopening external borders and access to non-EU residents should be part of the second stage of relaxation, taking into account the spread of the virus abroad.
Key Points of the Commission guidelines:
– Begin lifting restriction on a local level. Then move, in stages, towards increasingly wider geographic areas.
– Coordinate efforts amongst member nations to monitor internal and international borders.
Business Phase In
– Employess should return to work in stages, with workers in ‘low contact’ jobs returning first. Likewise, less endangered groups should return first.
– Gatherings of people (school, commercial activity, social activity, and mass groups or festivals) to be gradually phased in. Starting with small groups and slowly increasing to allow for larger gatherings.
– The Commission will create a ‘rapid alert function’ to identify supply and value chain disruptions.
– Continuous monitoring of the situation – by governments and private organisations.
– Awareness campaigns, encouraging the continued use of face masks, social distancing and strong hygiene practices.
– Preparedness to return to stricter controls, if necessary.