EU leaders agree to prioritise rapid Covid tests

It is hoped that wide deployment and recognition of the tests will help maintain travel around Europe and avoid the need for quarantines

30 October 2020
By Liv Rowland

The leaders of the EU have agreed together on the need to use rapid antigen tests to detect Covid-19 infections.

Speaking at a videoconference yesterday, the leaders discussed the need to have a common approach on recognition of these new tests, which we cover in-depth in November’s edition of The Connexion.

After the meeting, European Council president Charles Michel said: “We exchanged on how to advance a common approach to the mutual recognition, deployment and use of rapid tests.

“This would reduce the negative impact on free movement and on the functioning of the single market, which we absolutely need to preserve.”

He added that the European Commission has presented a recommendation on a coordinated approach to testing strategies and they would be working actively on that basis to strengthen coordination.

It comes as this week the European Commission announced it is allocating €100million for the supply of fast tests to EU states as part of a joint invitation to tender.

The air industry hopes that wide deployment of these tests could end the need for measures such as the UK's two-week quarantine if arriving from certain countries.

The leaders also spoke about Covid-19 vaccines, saying they hope such will be available in the coming months, that they would need to be distributed fairly among member states and there needs to be agreement on those in the population who are to be prioritised, such as the elderly, those with chronic illnesses and people working in the medical sector.

The leaders said they would also be looking at how to communicate about the vaccines and counter any related ‘fake news’ and ‘disinformation’.

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