Coronavirus (COVID-19)

EU summit decides to maintain strict restrictions in Europe

APA – The epidemiological situation in the European Union remains serious, and the community has decided to maintain tough restrictive measures, according to statement following the first day of the EU summit, APA reports citing TASS.

“We are determined to continue to work together and coordinate our action to tackle the pandemic and its consequences. The epidemiological situation remains serious, and the new variants pose additional challenges. We must therefore uphold tight restrictions while stepping up efforts to accelerate the provision of vaccines,” the statement said.

According to the report, “non-essential travel needs to be restricted”. “We welcome the adoption of the two Council recommendations on travel within, and into, the EU, according to which restrictions can be introduced in accordance with the principles of proportionality and non-discrimination and taking into account the specific situation of cross-border communities,” the European Council said.

The EU pledged to speed up the issuance of permits for production and distribution of vaccines. “We need to urgently accelerate the authorization, production and distribution of vaccines, as well as vaccination,” the statement said.

The Council also supports “the additional efforts by the Commission to work with industry and Member States to increase the capacity of current vaccine production as well as to adjust vaccines to the new variants as necessary. We also support the Commission’s ongoing efforts to accelerate the availability of raw materials, facilitate agreements between manufacturers across supply chains, scope existing facilities so as to help production scale-up in the EU and further the research and development efforts”.

According to the statement, “Companies must ensure predictability of their vaccine production and respect contractual delivery deadlines. Transparency with regard to the overall efforts should be enhanced”.

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