Covid-19: EU leaders say gradual reopening of societies possible

The pace of vaccinations against Covid-19 has accelerated across the European Union and should be sustained, EU leaders agreed at a European Council meeting on May 25, according to a Council statement.

“This, along with an improvement in the general epidemiological situation, will allow for a gradual reopening of our societies,” conclusions adopted by the leaders at the meeting said.

“However, we need to stay vigilant regarding the emergence and spread of variants and to take action as necessary. Ongoing work to step up vaccine production and secure adequate supply throughout the EU will be key,” the conclusions said.

Efforts to ensure a coordinated approach should continue ahead of the summer, the EU leaders agreed.

“In that context, the European Council welcomes the agreement reached on the EU Digital Covid Certificate and calls for its rapid implementation.

“As a next step, with a view to facilitating free movement in the EU, it calls for the revision by mid-June of the Council Recommendation on travel within the EU. It welcomes the revision of the Council Recommendation on non-essential travel into the EU.”

The impact of the pandemic will only be contained through a comprehensive global response, the EU leader said.

The EU is the largest exporter of Covid-19 vaccines to the world and will continue its efforts to increase global vaccine production capacities in order to meet global needs, they said.

The European Council called for work to be stepped up to ensure global equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines and supports COVAX’s leading role in that respect.

“The EU and its member states are committed to accelerating vaccine sharing to support countries in need, with the aim of donating at least 100 million doses by the end of the year, and to helping to develop local manufacturing capacity in line with the Rome Declaration of the Global Health Summit,” the meeting’s conclusions said.

(Photo: EC Audiovisual Service)

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