Proposal for a COUNCIL RECOMMENDATION on a coordinated approach to the restriction of free movement in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
This Explanatory Memorandum covers a proposal for an EU Council Recommendation which seeks to promote a coordinated response to the restriction of free movement by Member States in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
2. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, EU Member States introduced various measures to contain the virus, some of which restricted free movement of EU citizens on grounds of public health. As the spread of the virus has gradually reduced, some countries have now started to lift these restrictions. These actions have been taken unilaterally, based on the particular considerations of, and decisions taken by, each Member State.
3. This proposed Recommendation suggests that Member States should agree to coordinate their response rather than take unilateral actions. It suggests that this will help to reduce confusion among citizens and businesses in the EU, ensuring predictability and transparency.
4. The proposal suggests coordination among Member States in four key areas (i-iv) and underpinned by three criteria (a-c):
i. the criteria and thresholds used for applying restrictions to free movement;
ii. the mapping of these common criteria with an agreed colour code;
iii. a common approach to the measures applied to citizens travelling to and from areas identified as higher-risk; and
iv. provision of clear, comprehensive and timely information about any restrictions to the public.
a. the 14-day cumulative COVID-19 case notification rate;
b. the test positivity rate; and
c. the testing rate.