The European Commission announced new measures on Wednesday to help limit the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, save lives and strengthen the internal market's resilience.
"Concretely, the measures aim to better understand the virus' spread and the effectiveness of the response, ramp up well-targeted testing, bolster contact tracing, improve preparations for vaccination campaigns, and maintain access to essential supplies such as vaccination equipment, while keeping all goods moving in the single market and facilitating safe travel," the Commission said in a statement.
The measures were released ahead of a European summit teleconference on October 29 on Covid-19 coordination.
The Commission's actions include the following:
- Improving the flow of information to allow informed decision-making
- Establishing more effective and rapid testing
- Making full use of contact tracing and warning apps across borders
- Effective vaccination
- Effective communication to citizens
- Securing essential supplies
- Facilitating safe travel
- Green Lanes extension (allowing road freight to cross borders in less than 15 minutes, to maintain supply of goods)
"The COVID-19 situation is very serious. We must step up our EU response," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, said, calling on member states to work closely together. "Courageous steps taken now will help save lives and protect livelihoods. No member mtate will emerge safely from this pandemic until everyone does," she noted.
Commenting on the pandemic, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides said the rise in Covid-19 infection rates across Europe "is very alarming" and calls for "decisive immediate action". She further added that the Commission will "present the first step towards a European Health Union" next month.