European governments should lift coronavirus lockdowns and other social restrictions gradually to prevent a third wave of infections, according to the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
Europe has been grappling with a second surge in Covid-19 infections since September which has led to the re-introduction of lockdowns in certain countries and an overall stepping up of restrictions across the region.
Despite a slowdown in cases in some countries in recent days, the numbers are still high and are not yet showing clear signs of cresting. In the meantime, Europeans are pondering whether they’ll be able to gather with their families over the holiday period.
Speaking Thursday evening, the EU’s Ursula von der Leyen said that “expectations have to be managed.”
“We have all learned from our experience in the summer that the exit from a wave, in this case the exit from the first wave, is very difficult and that the impact of lifting measures too hastily has had a very bad impact on the epidemiological situation in summer and fall,” she said.
Good discussion with leaders. The @EU_Commission is broadening its vaccines portfolio, with discussions ongoing with Moderna & Novavax.
We will continue coordinating our efforts to keep citizens informed on vaccination & safe.https://t.co/vUMEQjWFT6
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) November 19, 2020