Roadmap to Lift Corona Containment Measures
On 15 April 2020, the European Commission published a Joint European Roadmap towards lifting COVID-19 containment measures.
The roadmap sets out three main criteria to assess whether the time has come to begin to relax the confinement, namely epidemiological criteria, a sufficient health system capacity, and an appropriate monitoring capacity. Furthermore, the roadmap recommends three basic principles to guide the EU and its Member States. According to these principles, action should be based on science and have public health at its centre. It should be coordinated between the Member States. Solidarity between the Member States should remain essential.
The roadmap also sets out accompanying measures to successfully manage the gradual lift of the existing confinement. Such accompanying measures include, for instance, gathering data and the development of a robust system of reporting; the creation of a framework for contact tracing and warning, with the use of mobile apps respecting data privacy; expanding testing capacities and harmonising testing methodologies; and increaseing the capacity and the resilience of healthcare systems.
Therefore, the roadmap sets forth a number of recommendations to Member States on how to gradually lift containment measures. Hence, action should be gradual; general measures should progressively be replaced by targeted ones; most vulnerable groups should be protected for longer; diagnosed people or people with mild symptoms should remain quarantined and treated adequately; safe alternatives should replace existing general prohibitive measures; and general states of emergencies with exceptional emergency powers for governments should be replaced by more targeted interventions by governments.