The European Commission urged coordination between EU member countries when lifting their coronavirus confinement measures, according to a Commission document obtained by POLITICO.
“A lack of coordination in lifting restrictive measures risks having negative effects for all Member States and is likely to give rise to political friction between Member States,” the Commission wrote in its draft roadmap toward lifting COVID-19 containment measures.
Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is expected to present the plan Wednesday afternoon. Meanwhile, countries are already planning national exit strategies.
Although the Commission is providing this guidance, it cautioned that “it is not a signal that containment measures can be lifted as of now.”
“These measures need additional time to show their full effect,” the Commission wrote.
Before relaxing their measures, countries should check that there has been a significant decrease in cases.
“We will have to live with the virus until a vaccine or treatment is found,” it added.
Before looking at whether they should relax their measures, countries should check that there has been a significant decrease in cases for a “sustained” period, sufficient health care capacity, especially in terms of intensive care units (ICUs), and large-scale testing capacity.
The EU is also taking action by creating a way to perform contact tracing “with the use of mobile apps which respect data privacy,” and by expanding and harmonizing testing. The Commission will also look at providing more funding for vaccine development.
The Commission also said it will publish more guidance on how to restore transport links ahead of the summer holiday season if the health situation allows.
It will develop a “Guidance Protocol” to “streamline coordination” in a gradual easing of restrictions, which will evolve over time and be updated weekly.