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Parliamentary questions
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20 November 2020
Answer given by Mr Reynders
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: P-005419/2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented health emergency, the protection of public health has become an overriding priority for both the EU and its Member States.

While Member States are competent to decide on the most appropriate measures to safeguard public health, including for instance quarantine or testing requirements, it is necessary to ensure that the measures are coordinated, proportionate and non-discriminatory.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control recommends 14-day quarantine for persons who have had contact with confirmed coronavirus cases. This can be shortened to 10 days after exposure if a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test at day 10 is negative(1).

On 13 October 2020, the Council adopted, on a proposal by the Commission, a recommendation on a coordinated approach to the restriction of free movement in response to the COVID-19 pandemic(2).

This coordinated approach will result in joint efforts on the application of common criteria and thresholds when deciding whether to introduce restrictions to free movement, a mapping of the risk of COVID-19 transmission based on an agreed colour code, and a coordinated approach as to the measures, if any, which may appropriately be applied to persons moving between areas, depending on the level of risk of transmission in those areas.

Notably, travellers with an essential function or need, such as workers or self-employed persons exercising critical occupations, will not be required to undergo quarantine while performing their duties.

On 15 June 2020, the Commission launched Re-open EU(3), an online platform that provides information on borders, available means of transport, travel restrictions, and public health and safety measures.

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