EP President David Sassoli decides on further precautionary measures with regard to Coronavirus
THE PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
Having regard to
- Article 22(5) of the Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament,
- the advice of the Medical Service of the European Parliament,
- there is a need to protect the health of Members of the European Parliament, staff, as well as other persons working at or visiting the European Parliament,
- the outbreak of the viral disease COVID-19 which started in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, has spread to different regions of the world, including clusters in certain regions in the European Union determined by the European Centre for Disease Control, and constitutes a threat to public health,
- there is a risk that persons who have recently been in the above-mentioned regions particularly affected by the infectious disease caused by COVID-19 might be infected with that virus and infect others before experiencing symptoms of illness,
- public authorities of Member States therefore recommend that persons who have travelled to certain areas particularly affected by COVID-19 be isolated for a period of fourteen days,
- it is therefore appropriate to deny access to the buildings of the European Parliament to persons who have recently visited the above-mentioned regions where there is a significant risk of infection with the new virus, for a period of fourteen days following the return from those regions.
- it is however not always possible for Parliament to identify with a sufficient degree of confidence, among its large numbers of external visitors and event attendees, whether or not they have travelled from or via such an area particularly affected by COVID-19,
- events attended by a large number of people are recognised by the World Health Organisation as facilitating respiratory illness transmission,
- consequently certain large-scale events have already been cancelled in a number of Member States of the European Union and in Switzerland,
- it is therefore appropriate to cancel non-core events involving outside visitors or attendees to Parliament’s premises
- while protecting health, Parliament as a critical infrastructure of democracy in the European Union should retain its capacity to exercise its core functions as attributed to the Institution by the Treaty on European Union,
1. The following types of events and visits in Parliament premises in all three places of work, and the European Parliament Liaison Offices inside and outside of the European Union, are hereby cancelled until further notice, irrespective of their organiser or authorising authority:
Participation in Parliamentary Assemblies and bodies thereof
Election observation delegations
Events organised by committees
Members’ personal visits
Accredited assistants’ personal visits
Visits of local assistants
Staff personal visits
Events organised by Parliament’s administration
Euroscola, Euromed-Scola and Euronest-Scola events/semiars
Individual and group visits to Parliament and opinion multiplier events
Cultural events and exhibitions
Events by outside bodies taking place in Parliament’s premises
Events co-organised with the European Parliament taking place in Parliament’s premises
Events organised by the Political Groups and non-attached Members
Events organised by individual Members, including events taking place after 20.00 in the evening for which a derogation was provided
Events making use of the Members restaurant, Members’ salons, other restaurants and other designated spaces involving lunches/dinners/cocktails.
2. Persons other than Members of staff of Parliament who are seeking access to Parliament’s premises on account of the cancelled events and visits shall be denied access.
3. Unless otherwise specified in paragraph 1, the governing bodies of Parliament, plenary, ordinary and extraordinary committee meetings, and the political groups shall not be restricted in their ability to function normally, however without attendance of interest representatives nor visitors other than those specifically invited by the respective Chair as a speaker. Plenary meetings of the Committee of Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee in Parliament’s premises shall remain possible under the same conditions.
4. Media representatives shall not be excluded from accessing Parliament’s premises unless so required by Article 2.
5. The House of European History, the Parlamentarium and the Europa Experience sites shall continue to be open to visitors unless and to the extent the competent local authorities indicate otherwise.
1. Access to the buildings of the European Parliament is denied to persons who have visited during the last 14 days before they seek access to Parliament’s premises the regions indicated in the list published in Parliament’s Intranet under the following link: https://epintranet.in.ep.europa.eu/home/latest-news/news-area/updated-coronavirus-outbreak.html .
2. The prohibition shall cease to apply, for each of the persons concerned by paragraph 1, fourteen days respectively after their date of return from the areas indicated in that list in case no symptoms of the disease have become manifest during this period.
3. Access is also denied to persons who have been in known contact with a person whose infection with the new virus has been confirmed and who have not yet received from a medical practitioner confirmation that they are not infected.
1. All persons except Members and staff of the European Parliament have to declare when they wish to enter Parliament’s premises whether they have been to any of the concerned regions referred to in Article 2(1) within the last 14 days before they wish to enter.
2. For Members and staff additional rules may be adopted by the competent authorities of Parliament.
The Secretary General shall implement this decision as regards the staff of the European Parliament and as regards the practical implementation of the measures foreseen herein.
This decision shall take immediate effect. It shall lapse three weeks from the date of the signature unless renewed by the President.
Brussels, 2 March 2020
David Maria SASSOLI