The EU published on Monday a list of “workers in critical occupations” in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, who must be able to continue to move freely, despite the measures put in place at the internal borders of the Union.

The EU published on Monday a list of “workers in critical occupations” in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, who must be able to continue to move freely, despite the measures put in place at the internal borders of the Union.

(ER with .) – “About 1.5 million EU citizens live in one country and work in another. (…) Many of them are doing jobs that are important in helping us all through the crisis, “said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in a video message posted on Twitter. To this end, the Commission has published recommendations for the Member States, some of which have taken measures at their borders restricting the free movement usually within the Schengen area.

1.5 million European cross-border workers: must be able to go to work despite #coronavirus restrictions. In particular doctors & nurses, who help us against the virus. Today, let’s publish guidelines to help them get to work safely. pic.twitter.com/TsuXfuvQRT

– Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen)
   March 30, 2020

“It is particularly important that people working in areas essential to the fight against the coronavirus be able to reach their workplace quickly,” said Ursula von der Leyen. The President of the Commission called on the Member States to “set up simple and rapid procedures in order to guarantee them easy passage with a proportionate health examination”.

Luxembourg dependent on its neighbors

Nicolas Schmit recalled that the EU must do what is necessary to ensure the circulation of “thousands of women and men who work hard to preserve our safety and our health”. And the Commissioner of Employment and Social Rights said “that it is our responsibility to all to ensure that their movement is not hampered”.

The announcement made on Monday to ask hoteliers to offer accommodation solutions for certain employees in the health sector so that they can “settle with their families in the Grand Duchy” demonstrates the dependence of the Luxembourg health system.

The Grand Duchy is among the most vulnerable countries in Europe at this level. In fact, the Luxembourg health system finds itself dependent on its foreign workforce and in particular on its workers from France and Belgium. Two thirds of non-Luxembourgers are found among the staff active in hospitals and other clinics in the country.

For von der Leyen, “the health and care system in Luxembourg would suffer enormous damage if these workers lost several hours every day due to long queues at the borders”.

The sector regrets the concerns about the movement of goods that have occurred in recent days. In question: the health checks carried out by certain countries at the internal borders of the EU in an attempt to stem the pandemic of new coronavirus.

In addition to the care and health professions, the list concerns persons working in “childcare facilities, establishments for the elderly, firefighters, police officers and workers in the transport sector”. It also includes scientists from health-related industries, those responsible for installing essential medical devices, and food workers.

The European executive, which has already advocated the establishment of priority lanes for trucks transporting goods to avoid traffic jams, also claimed that waiting times at the borders had thanks to this decreased significantly compared to the week last.

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