Washing hands
28 February 2020

Collective strategy against Covid-19

Responding to the Italian Minister of Health's invitation, France's Minister Olivier Véran arrived in Rome on 27 February 2020 for a meeting with the Ministers of Health of countries neighbouring Italy. They were able to take full stock of the situation, which continues to change. The Ministers applauded the measures taken by Italy and all our European partners to protect citizens.


At Olivier Véran's initiative, a collective responsibility strategy was adopted. The Ministers reiterated the need to take a common stance in the face of the current situation, as well as the following principles:

  • Borders must remain open; closing them would be disproportionate and ineffective. Information to travellers returning from or going to areas at risk will be standardised.
  • Working together on a daily basis is essential. Medical and epidemiological information, along with the measures adopted in the face of the epidemic, will be shared in full transparency. All available verified information will be communicated. Transparency creates trust, which is more than ever necessary in Europe.
  • There is no a priori need to cancel major cultural or sporting events. Consideration must be given on a case-by-case basis in the light of scientific and medical data, before decisions on whether or not to let them go on are taken.
  • Information will be standardised for professionals and the public alike and will include communications common to borders. Conferences of experts and ministerial meetings will be regularly organised.