COVID-19: Commission works on all fronts to contain the outbreak and expresses solidarity with Italy

The Commission continues working on all fronts during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak and maintain absolute solidarity with Italy and all Member States. Yesterday, at a press conference in Rome, Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, expressed strong support for the Italian efforts and underlined that the results of the current ongoing European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) / World Health Organisation (WHO) mission would be important to better address the situation. The ECDC underlined that the measures taken by the Italian authorities were important to avoid further spread. The ECDC will update its risk assessment to reflect the findings of the mission. The Commission will also issue guidance for travellers coming back from risk areas or travelling to them. Then, the first exchange of information on border measures took place yesterday between Member States’ authorities, different services of the Commission, the Council’s General Secretariat, and European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex). They underlined that border authorities and health authorities should continue coordinating closely. Currently, no Member State signalled the intention of introducing border controls at internal borders. Member States and Schengen Associated Countries continue to apply their normal regime for checks at the external border – with enhanced checks for those travelling from affected areas. Commissioner Kyriakidesopening remarks are available online, as well as the video of yesterday’s press conference.