Intended for healthcare professionals


Covid-19: Lockdown exit will be “very long,” European officials warn

BMJ 2020; 369 doi: (Published 17 April 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;369:m1549

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  1. Michael Day
  1. London

European Union officials have unveiled their “roadmap” to phase out the ongoing coronavirus containment measures. But they warned of a “very long” exit from a crisis that has been a devastating double whammy to the continent’s health and economic wellbeing.

The European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, warned that a failure by countries to work together on their exit strategies could lead to a dangerous second wave of covid-19. “If shops are open on one side of the border, we don’t want people moving from one member state to the next to use the shopping opportunity,” she said, urging authorities in EU member states not to erase the progress made from the painful lockdowns imposed over the past month.

Over 80 000 people have died in Europe from covid-19, about two thirds of the global death toll, but some EU countries have already started easing their lockdowns by allowing some school classes and businesses to reopen. Von der Leyen said that EU countries should …

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