WHO Warns of Testing End, US Mask Mandate, EU Eases Pandemic Restrictions

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© AP Photo/Pedro Rocha

The European Commission, which is the executive arm of the European Union, announced on Wednesday that the bloc would move away from its emergency phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement about the change, the commission still called upon the EU’s member countries to increase vaccination, monitoring COVID-19, testing, travel rules and vaccines and treatments as the bloc transitions to a new phase.

“We are entering a new phase of the pandemic, as we move from emergency mode to a more sustainable management of COVID-19,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said. “Yet, we must remain vigilant. Infection numbers are still high in the EU and many people are still dying from COVID-19 worldwide.”

“Moreover, new variants can emerge and spread fast. But we know the way forward,” she added. ”We need to further step-up vaccination and boosting, and targeted testing — and we need to continue to coordinate our responses closely in the EU.”

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