COVID-19: Statement by the President of the European Parliament and further preventive measures introduced in Council
March 10, 2020
European Parliament President David Sassoli said : “ Based on the latest situation in Italy, the European Parliament has updated its measures to protect health, while ensuring the legislative and budgetary work and internal bodies of the Parliament can continue to function. This will also ensure that Parliament is able to vote on the next steps to deal with COVID-19. The new advice introduced by the Italian government extends the protected area to the whole national territory. This has important consequences for the behaviour of Italian MEPs. For this reason, I have decided after having been in Italy over the last weekend, as a precaution, to follow the indicated measures and to exercise my function as President from my home in Brussels in compliance with the 14 days indicated by the health protocol. COVID-19 obliges everyone to be responsible and to be cautious. It is a delicate moment for all of us. Parliament will continue to work to exercise its duties. No virus can block democracy.”
Furthermore, the Secretary-General of the Council, having consulted the Presidency, has decided on a number of new preventative measures which take into account latest developments in the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) as well as updated expert medical advice. The measures have been communicated to member state delegates and others who are affected by them. They took effect as from Monday 9 March.
The number of meetings of the Council, its preparatory bodies and working groups will be reduced. Decisions on which meetings to maintain will be taken on a regular basis by the Presidency.
The size of delegations participating in meetings will be limited.
All visitor groups and non-essential training will be suspendedGSC staff are encouraged to limit as far as possible internal meetings and to continue to observe scrupulously the recommended hygiene measures.
In addition, the list of areas for which travel restrictions apply to GSC staff has been updated to take into account the latest decisions by the Italian authorities.