Any loosening of lockdown measures will "unavoidably" lead to an increase in coronavirus infections, the European Commission will say today as it warns that governments "will have to live with" the virus until a vaccine is found.
The caution comes as several member states, including Italy and Spain, begin to ease lockdown restrictions, despite other governments extending quarantine measures for at least another month.
A leaked version of an EU-wide exit strategy, obtained by 'The Daily Telegraph' and to be launched by the president of the commission today, says: "Even though the way back to normality will be very long, it is also clear that the extraordinary confinement measures cannot last indefinitely.
"At the same time, it must be acknowledged that the virus continues circulating, and any level of relaxation of the confinement will unavoidably lead to a corresponding increase in new cases.
"This will require constant and detailed monitoring as well as the readiness to adjust and reintroduce new measures if needed. We will have to live with the virus until a vaccine or treatment is found."
It also urged EU member states to warn each other in good time before lifting lockdowns, and take neighbouring nations' views on that decision into account. (© Daily Telegraph, London)