Commission President von der Leyen and Council President Charles Michel have presented the EU’s exit strategy for the current lockdown measures at a press conference on 15 April 2020. Von der Leyen stressed that a gradual, consolidated and coordinated approach was needed for an orderly exit. While the legal authority to lift measures continues to lie with the member states, the Commission strategy provides a framework that rests on three criteria:
- Epidemiological criteria showing that the spread of the disease has significantly decreased and stabilised for a sustained period.
- Sufficient health system capacity, for example, taking into account the occupation rate for intensive care units, the availability of health care workers and medical material.
- Appropriate monitoring capacity, including large-scale testing capacity to quickly detect and isolate infected individuals, as well as tracking and tracing capacity.
Accompanying measures to be taken as restrictions are lifted include increased data collection, expanding testing and harmonizing testing methodologies across the EU, increasing the capacities of health care systems, providing for sufficient Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and additional financial support for the rapid development of a vaccine.