The EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) has published its third monthly Bulletin on the impact of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on fundamental rights across the EU Member States. It looks at the impact of government measures in place in May 2020.
The report Coronavirus pandemic in the EU – fundamental rights implications: with a focus on older people (June 2020) outlines some of the measures that the states have adopted to ease the restrictions imposed at the start of the pandemic while continuing to mitigate the spread of the virus. The report looks at declarations of states of emergency, including how and under what circumstances Member States began to lift them. It considers the impact of the pandemic and containment measures on the daily life of people and on particular vulnerable groups, such as persons with disabilities, detainees, homeless people and victims of domestic violence. As a specific question, the report focuses on the rights of older people, looking into issues such as access to treatment and testing, the situation in institutional settings, access to services and the impact of isolation. While certain measures were important to reduce the risk to health and life of older people by preventing infection, they raised questions about potential discrimination on the grounds of age. As societies reopen, governments should take care of the needs of older people as the passage to the ‘new normal’ will likely be slower and more difficult for them.
FRA’s multidisciplinary research network, FRANET, collected the data across all 27 EU Member States. It gathered information from sources in the public domain at the time of data collection. The Institute for Human Rights at Åbo Akademi University, together with the Faculty of Law at the University of Turku, currently form the national focal point of FRANET in Finland. The researchers at the Institute for Human Rights at Åbo Akademi University have compiled the country study on Finland.