Covid-19: Green Zoning

A method to halt the spread of Covid-19 and restore safe mobility — with Miquel Oliu-Barton

During the Covid-19 pandemic I have been able to actively contribute to policy. Elements of Green Zoning has first been adopted by France and Spain in April 2020, subsequently by several other countries and by the European Union (13 October, see plan here and map here).

The Green Zoning strategy is an alternative to blanket lockdowns. It is based on four key principles that can be applied to a single country or a group of countries:

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First ECDC map on 16 October 2020

  1. Divide each country into smaller zones (for example, states, regions, provinces, or economic commuting zones).
  2. Label zones green or red based on common, objective criteria, depending on whether the virus is under control or not.
  3. Adopt public health measures depending on the colour of the zones (and finer differentiations).
  4. Allow travelling between green zones, but limit other travel as much as possible (for example, require a negative test or a seven-day quarantine when travelling from a red to a green zone).

Green zones thus form a safe network where life can progressively return to normal. Red zones, on the contrary, need to be managed carefully to halt the spread of virus and protect the population.

Key publications (see full list here)

National level — original proposal (8 April 2020): English, Deutsch, Français, Español, Italiano.

International level — original proposal (30 April 2020): English, Deutsch, Français, Español, Italiano.

Most recent updates: VoxEU, OECD Forum, Les Echos

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