Brussels – City centre becomes residential area

Pedestrians can walk on the streets in the centre of Brussels, with cars going on a maximum speed of 20 km/h. Until mid-August, the city centre is treated as residential area. The measure shall promote cycling and walking while ensuring physical distancing to limit the spread of the coronavirus. You can read more here. The city also plans for 40 extra kilometres of cycle paths.

Contact: Alfredo Corbalan

Athens – Pedestrianisation for physical distancing

Athens is banning cars from its historic centre for three months from mid-June to provide more space to pedestrians to physical distance. The measure, which could be further extended for another three months, is seen as a precursor to the project announced by the Athens Municipality, and approved last week by City Hall, foreseeing the creation of a large pedestrianized network unifying downtown areas of the Greek capital. More information here.

Contact: Dimitris Konstantopoulos

Madrid – Support for safe mobility

Madrid is curbing the return of cars to its streets by cutting traffic on several roads to allow children to play and exercise on the road on their bikes, scooters and rollerblades. More information (in Spanish) here.

The city has also opened a new car park reserved entirely for shared vehicles. More information (in Spanish) here.

The addition of 45km of new bus lanes is expected to further support residents who want to avail of public transport rather than turning to using cars. More information (in Spanish) here.

Contact: Ana Buñuel

Antwerp – Mobility for social distancing

Antwerp is taking measures to reduce the return of cars to the street and provide safe mobility options for locals, including by promoting safe walking and cycling and adding new features to its mobility map and route planner, as well as supporting companies to continue allowing employees to work from home. More information here.

Contact: Kris Van Berendoncks

Brno – Support for businesses


Brno is supporting the areas of business that have been most affected, such as gastronomy and tourism & culture, and has also approved complex measures for businesspeople. It provides easier administration of permits for the outdoor areas of restaurants, and it also suggests that the establishment of these areas should be done at no extra cost to the proprietor.

Continue reading “Brno – Support for businesses”

Vilnius – Masks for the elderly

Vilnius has given 2,000 reusable face masks to senior citizens. As the Lithuanian government is moving ahead with easing quarantine, free food support to the most vulnerable people is being replaced with reusable face masks. Seniors, disabled people and other Vilnius residents at risk, little by little are starting to move around the city and supermarkets. Therefore, Vilnius Municipality decided give them free reusable face masks with the symbol of the capital and flyers with recommendations on how to protect yourself. More information here.

Contact: Jurga Pociūtė-Mikūtienė

Paris – Updated overview of deconfinement measures

Paris started to gradually ease confinement on 11 May. Doing so has involved a host of measures, from distributing face masks and increasing testing, to information campaigns, reopening of schools, introduction of new bike lanes, and support measures for businesses, cultural institutions, NGO’s and other organisations that are now opening up. These measures are evolving as the situation progresses – read a full updated overview of these measures in English here, or in French here.

Contact: Jean-Yves Camus

Dusseldorf – Preparing for the second wave

With a step-by-step approach, the city of Dusseldorf wants to keep coronavirus infection numbers low and prevent a new spread. The daily monitoring will be continued. Should the infection number rise to 30 per 100,000 citizens in seven consecutive days, communication and control of the regulations, like physical distancing and wearing of masks, will be reinforced. From 50 new infections, stronger restrictions can be implemented. You can read more here (in German)

Contact: Stefanie Nietfeld

Tbilisi – Overview of measures

The city of Tbilisi, Georgia, has compiled an overview of measures taken in the corona crisis, following the first confirmed case on 26 February: from the disinfection of public places to help for the elderly to support of local businesses. You can download the document here

Contact: Lika Davitadze

Vienna – Overview of measures for safe and inclusive recovery

Vienna has taken an approach of cautious exit and inclusive recovery as the country is slowly going back to ‘normal’. The updated overview highlights measures with regard to a smooth and safe running of city services, from childcare and schools to health and social services, support for the local economy and unemployed citizens and much more. It also contains a survey that shows that the city’s crisis management was positively received by the population. You can download the document here.

Contact: Michaela Kauer or stay up to date at @Stadt_Wien

Budapest – Restart the city

Flexible start times at work and school, to avoid crowded busses and trams. Enhanced possibilities for cycling and walking in the city. Outdoor catering on closed roads for restaurants. – These are some of the proposals of Budapest’s mayor Gergely Karácsony for a gradual reopening of the city. According to him, the easing of the lockdown demands new thinking and deliberate decisions in many fields from both the national government and the municipality. You can download the document here

Contact: Adrienn Magyar

Budapest – Exploring unknown parks and trails

While parks and hiking trails in and around Budapest are open again after the corona confinement, the city wants to avoid the popular destinations getting too crowded. A new online map is promoting lesser known green spots where people can walk or play sports. You can find the map and read more here

Contact: Adrienn Magyar

Nice – Doctor Robot checks you for corona

With the help of artificial intelligence, the people of Nice can check whether they have symptoms of COVID19 and get advice on the phone. The city has launched the vocal assistant ‘AlloCOVID’, developed by the startup Allo-Média in collaboration with INSERM researchers. Based on a series of questions, a robot tries to understand if the caller presents symptoms of COVID19, and thus orient them. Available seven days a week and 24 hours a day, the system can manage up to 1,000 simultaneous calls. You can read more here

Contact: Jérôme Sieurin

Paris – Easing the lockdown

Reopening schools with small groups of pupils, making face masks mandatory in the metro and devoting roads to biking, to prevent an intensive surge in car use – these are some of the steps out of the corona lockdown in Paris. The city has compiled a summary of measures. You can download the document here

Contact: Jean-Yves Camus

Guimarães – Public space for businesses

Guimarães municipality has given exemptions to businesses from fees for the occupation of public space until the end of 2020 and increased areas for the installation of terraces. This is intended to minimize the impact of reducing the capacity of establishments to protect customers from COVID-19. More information (in Portuguese) here.

Contact: geral@cm-guimaraes.pt

Nice – Digital crisis management

The Nice Côte d´Azur Metropolis has developed new digital crisis management tools from which Microsoft will draw inspiration to help other communities for free. In order to deal with the COVID-19 epidemic and the dissemination of masks to the entire population, the Nice has developed digital logistics management tools. Microsoft has praised the quality of work of the engineers of the Metropolis and will use it as inspiration to provide services to other French communities.

Continue reading “Nice – Digital crisis management”

Mannheim – Culture for safety

Mannheim, UNESCO City of Music, together with the Enjoy Jazz Festival, launched the social media campaign “weRculture” on April 1, backed by the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG). Since then, more than 100 artists and creative workers have participated and contributed creative videos that call upon the viewer to stay at home, think respectfully and act responsibly in this time of crisis. More information on this global call here.

Contact: Nelly Saemann


Guimarães – Opening daycare

Guimarães is testing all daycare employees for COVID 19 in preparation for the reopening of daycare centres on 18 May. All employees (teaching and non-teaching staff) will be tested. This covers about 450 employees in 39 institutions, and is taking place within the scope of the Government’s return to normality plan, in conjunction with the Ministry of Social Security. The tests start this Monday, 11 May 11, at the facilities of the Pro-Child headquarters. More information (in Portuguese) here.

Contact: Crisalia Albves

Beşiktaş – Digital management centre

Beşiktaş has centralised all its public health efforts in a single ‘Public Health Digital Management Centre’. The centre, set up to deal with COVID19, will remain after the outbreak to tackle further pandemics, disasters, earthquakes or any situation that threatens public health. The centre facilitates crisis communication, administration, data flows and inter-institutional coordination from a single point, and can be used to identify at-risk groups and areas. Beşiktaş’s mayor, Rıza Akpolat, has committed to personally man the centre, performing the coordination of all its units day and night.

Contact: foreignaffairs@besiktas.bel.tr

Dusseldorf – New testing plans

In cooperation with the University Hospital Dusseldorf, the municipality is planning an antibody testing of 1,000 people (representative sample) in order to obtain information about the estimated number of unknown cases of the Coronavirus infection. In addition Dusseldorf’s testing centres are now able to inform citizens about negative test results by SMS, while positive results are still communicated by phone and are followed up by ‘containment scouts’. Read more here and here

Contact: Stefanie Nietfeld

Florence – Park educators

Florence parks are again accessible to families, although in compliance with the still necessary safety standards. Thus, the city of Florence has started a family support project called ‘Pollicino.Zero’ providing educators and volunteers in eight city parks and gardens. The operators will be there to answer the parents’ possible questions and suggest them creative activities to be carried out with their children.

Contact: Alessandra Barbieri

Rennes – Kits for shopkeepers

Rennes is providing safety kits to shopkeepers, many of whom will be able to open as of May 11, to guarantee the protection of customers, shopkeepers and their employees. The city will distribute a kit to 2,600 shopkeepers (excluding cafés, hotels and restaurants) in the city. The kit contains two fabric masks, a protective visor, hydroalcoholic gel, a chalk spray for marking the ground and an information poster on physical distancing, to be affixed to shop windows. A guide listing the main advice in terms of hygiene, cleanliness, reception and protection of customers and employees is already available for consultation and downloading on city’s website. More information (in French) here.

Contact: Stephanie Poppe

Braga – Supporting restaurants and local commerce

Braga will allow restaurants, cafes and local commerce to open their services in the streets for the months of summer and until the end of the year. This ‘Open Door’ system for local commerce will allow restaurants, cafes and bars to extend their terraces to the streets and create new ones to expand capacity. This will help businesses to serve more people while maintaining health and security measures and protecting jobs. The local Chamber of Commerce and the movement ‘Urbac’, which brings together restaurants and bars of the city, support the initiative ‘Braga Open Door’. Mayor Rio of Braga has also announced a total exemption of municipal fees and licenses covering the occupation of public spaces for all local businesses. More information (in Portuguese) here.

Contact: Nuno Gouveia

Nantes – Supporting citizens’ initiatives

On 20 March, the City of Nantes set up a mutual aid platform to collect donations, facilitate and support initiatives, recruit citizen volunteers and collect information on the needs of the people of Nantes. The 15 or so agents involved were able to ensure 2,000 contacts and connections. Nearly 750 Nantes citizens have applied for volunteer missions and 300 of them have already been mobilized to help with shopping, food distribution, supporting families, medical and social institutions and making deliveries. More information (in French) here.

In order to support initiatives for the manufacture of masks for the general public made of fabric, to meet the demands of professionals and individuals, the city has set up a system, ‘A vos masques’. The city also supports the Association Des Femmes en Fil (Women in Thread) which brings together some 15 neighbourhood associations and already more than 100 seamstresses with the aim of making 15,000 masks for Nantes neighbourhoods. More information (in French) here.

Contact: Nicolas Joffraud

Rennes – Distribution of masks

Rennes has made group order of 500,000 fabric masks to equip all its inhabitants (250,000) and 95 other municipalities in the department. These masks are to be worn in addition to social distancing measures. In Rennes, the distribution will be carried out by volunteer civil servants at about fifteen sites spread throughout the city’s neighbourhoods.

Contact: Stephanie Poppe

Vilnius – Mask Fashion Week

Mask Fashion Week opening ceremony in Vilnius. Photo by Go Vilnius

The streets of Vilnius are currently dotted with giant photos of people wearing protective masks made in creative way. The images are part of a new project called Mask Fashion Week, which drew its inspiration from members of a Facebook group known as Mask Your Fashion. Unlike a traditional fashion week, the project is open to everyone: the city streets have become a runway. While still adhering to safety recommendations, audiences are invited to travel the Mask Fashion Week route through the city by foot or in their cars and reflect on the role and look of the new accessory that has unexpectedly become part of our day-to-day lives. The city’s outdoor advertising stands now feature photos of masked project participants with the slogan ‘Creativity Cannot be Masked’. You can read more here

Reykjavik – Overview of measures

The city of Reykjavik, Iceland, has compiled a summary of measures taken in the coronavirus crisis. The document describes the different phases in response to the pandemic and how “aggressive testing, tracing and quarantining” has slowed the spreading of the virus. Iceland has introduced a tracing app which has been downloaded by one third of the population. Restrictions are eased since beginning of May. You can download the document here

Contact: Hilmar Hildar Magnúsarson

Kyiv – Unified centre for coordination

At the request of the mayor, Vitaliy Klitschko, a new centre is coordinating community, volunteer, and other organisations’ efforts to assist individual vulnerable sections of Kyiv’s population in the spread of new coronavirus infection.

Increased measures taken by the city include heightened sanitation of roads, bridges, public transport, as well as public utilities and public parts of municipally owned buildings. Further actions include the closure of all children’s playgrounds.

Read more here here and here

Contact: Maria Adomaytis

Dusseldorf – Masks for all

Mayor Thomas Geisel handing out masks © City of Dusseldorf/Melanie Zanin

Since wearing a mask in public transportation and shops is compulsory now, city staff of Dusseldorf and volunteers are distributing masks on different places in the city. For the elderly, 50,000 hygiene kits including masks have been prepared and can be ordered for home delivery. Additional 15,000 masks have been donated for refugees. With online videos, the city shows how to sew your own mask. You can read more here and here (in German)

Contact: Stefanie Nietfeld

Osmangazi – Disinfecting public spaces

The municipality of Osmangazi, Turkey, has disinfected more than 69,000 public locations to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Parks, gardens, squares, streets, containers, public buildings and sanctuaries are cleaned regularly. Workplaces, especially in the food sector, are inspected in order to guarantee the healthy production process. At the entrances of marketplaces, disinfectants and surgical masks are distributed free of charge.

You can read more here (in Turkish)

Contact: Şenol Dülger

Budapest – Waiting for you

“Budapest awaits!” is the message of a music and dance video, aimed at city residents and tourists. The film, created by the Budapest Festival and Tourism Center, shows the formerly cheerful and lively, but now empty city, waiting to see life returning to the streets and public spaces.

Budapest has also compiled a summary of measures the city has taken in the corona crisis. You can download the document here

Contact: Adrienn Magyar

Zurich – Online appointments and diagnosis

The municipal hospitals of the city of Zurich have patients refraining from going to the hospital and get treatment because they are afraid of getting infected. In order to make some treatments and also appointments possible, the city hospitals set up online diagnostic tools, where patients can contact their doctor if a physical meeting is not needed. You can read other measures in this summary

Contact: Antoine Schnegg

Madrid – Car parks guide for covid testing

Experts have prepared this a guide to help decision-makers, from a technical point of view, on the criteria to identify the most suitable car parks for Covid testing. Urban car parks have a number of convenient characteristics for this purposes, such as allowing for significant flows of people in an orderly manner while facilitating the implementation of the necessary separation and control conditions. Read more here

Contact: Lola Ortiz Sánchez

Katowice – Buses for testing

Katowice is sending three buses to collect samples from its residents. The collective effort of the three teams will give the city a testing capacity of 3000 tests a month. By monitoring testing needs, the city will evaluate if it needs to arrange more buses. To further limit the spread, the city disinfects bus and tram stops, benches and trash bins, tunnels and underground passages on a daily basis. Special attention is given to handles and facilities for the disabled. Read more here and here (in Polish)

Contact: Judyta Etmanska

Izmir – Health first

In Izmir, all employees working in the health sector, pharmacists and pharmacy staff have free access to public transportation. In addition, four bus routes have been redirected to exclusively serve city hospitals. Trips and timetables of these routes are coordinated with the hospital to accommodate changes and updates in staff shifts. While conductors are separated from users, hand dispensers are available in the bus and at bus stops for passengers. Read more here

Contact: Ozan Sumerkan

Vienna – Overview of measures (updated)

Vienna has compiled a summary of measures the city has taken in the coronavirus crisis. They include the areas health and social care, public services, help for the economy, housing and homelessness, arts and culture, communication and citizen engagement as well as a part on ‘life after the crisis’. You can download the document here.

Contact: Michaela Kauer or stay up to date at @Stadt_Wien

Vienna – Sewing masks

Employees of the facility management department of the City of Vienna decided to sew 2,500 masks in order to protect their colleagues. 50 female room attendants decided to take matters into their own hands and to produce masks to equip all their colleagues with reusable (and washable at 60 degrees) cotton masks. Luckily, a remaining stock of a total of 77 metres of dark grey cotton fabric could be purchased on a short notice; and a workshop to produce a prototype was organised.

Continue reading “Vienna – Sewing masks”

Budapest – Essential masks and testing

Starting from next week all passengers on Budapest’s public transport, as well as in shops, markets, shopping centres and taxis will be required to wear masks or scarfs. Under current plans as many as 85,000 will be handed out for free.

In addition the Municipality of Budapest will carry out 10,000 coronavirus tests, with the first carried out on staff and residents in social and nursing homes. Read more here and here

Contact: Adrienn Magyar

Glasgow – From alcohol to hand sanitiser

International spirits firm Edrington has donated high strength alcohol to Glasgow City Council to increase hand sanitiser production. This first donation will allow for one thousand litres production that will be delivered to the social workers and health professionals in the front line. Read more here

Contact: Joe Brady

Ourense – Mask making at home

Thousands of 3D-printed view-masks are made at home by citizens with the assitance from the Knowledge Center La Molinera. This initiative is coordinated by the City Council of Ourense and providing equipment protection to health professionals, security forces, local business and citizens. Watch a video from the initiative here

Contact: Jorge Pumar Tesouro

Nicosia – Overview of measures

The city of Nicosia, Cyprus, has compiled a summary of the municipality’s measures in the corona crisis, from confinement regulations over ‘solidarity baskets’ for the elderly to creative activities for kids, painting their vision of ‘Nicosia 2030’ while at home. The document also provides contact names for further information. You can download it here

Contact: Charis Theocharous

Tallinn – Trilingual drones to inform people about proper behaviour

Drones, equipped with speakers, will be used in Tallinn’s parks, beaches and sports grounds daily to inform people about the measures to respect to tackle the spread of the virus. Drones, which will repeat the message in Estonian, Russian and English, will not be used for surveillance, but just to share information on behaviour. You can read more here.

Contact: Kerttu Märtin

Nicosia – Tracing corona contacts with an app

The research center RISE in Nicosia, Cyprus, has developed a mobile app to help limit the spread of the corona virus. The app, COVTRACER, is monitoring the movements of confirmed carriers of the virus to identify people they have been in contact with. The use of the app is voluntary. It has been downloaded 8,000 times since the launch. The pilot version of the application is designed for police and security forces, doctors, nurses and fire fighters.

Continue reading “Nicosia – Tracing corona contacts with an app”

Nice – 25 tons of protective equipment from China

750,000 masks, gowns, overalls, gloves and floats for protection against infection with the corona virus have arrived in Nice. The equipment arrived in a cargo plane from China on Easter Monday. The 25 tons of medical equipment are destined for the Nice University Hospital and public services carrying out a priority mission. You can read more here (in French)

Contact: Jérôme Sieurin

Stuttgart – Refugees for refugees videos

The city website now includes video clips from refugees, for refugees explaining hygiene and behavioural measures to follow to contain the spread of the virus. Refugees have produced, on their own initiative, written information and explanatory video clips in seven languages. Read more here (in German)

Contact: Claudia Schulcz

Kartal / Istanbul – Marching band for the morale

With music in the streets, the municipality of Kartal, a district of Istanbul, entertains and supports people at home during the corona crisis. A marching band played a series of concerts in ten neighbourhoods and was greeted with flags and applause. The municipality also developed a video programme for kindergarten kids. You can read more and find an overview of measures here (in Turkish and English)

Poznan – Manufacturing test kits

In Poznan scientists from the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences have developed the production of their own test in cooperation with Polish enterprises. Its quality is equal to commercial tests, and it is much cheaper and available in quantities of hundreds of thousands.

More information here.

Contact: Anna Aleksandrzak

Zagreb – Drive in testing

Zagreb has introduced drive in testing to speed up diagnosis and increase the number of people tested. People do not have to get out of the car in this testing, which increases the safety level of the person being tested and the microbiologist at the department. Appointment for testing will continue to be carried out through a selected family doctor.

Contact: international.relations@zagreb.hr

Bordeaux – Support hotlines

Bordeaux is now operating several hotlines for people differently affected by coronavirus. These include a mental health support hotline, COVIDPSY33, from 10.00-18.00 Monday to Friday; a specific phone service for those grieving the death of a loved one; and a phone line for healthcare professionals to receive support and advice.

Contact: Marie-Elisabeth Sapin

Milan – A locker system for your shopping

The municipality asked supermarkets’ chains to install new lockers to be used for the collection of online grocery shopping. Customers can order their groceries online, then collect them avoiding queues and limiting contact with other people since their shopping will be waiting, at a specific time, in an assigned locker which only the customer can access with his/her membership card. Read more here (in Italian)

Contact: Olimpia Vaccarino Aureli

Istanbul – Feeding stray cats and dogs

The district municipality in Sultanbeyli, Istanbul, is feeding stray animals during the corona lockdown. While shops are closed, the local veterinary service units leave animal food at central places. In Istanbul, there are thought to be 130,000 dogs and 125,000 cats roaming free. Other measures of the municipality aim to prevent the spread of the virus in public places like bazaars and to support people in need.

Continue reading “Istanbul – Feeding stray cats and dogs”

Dusseldorf – Priority badge for nurses

Health workers, bus drivers, volunteers for social services and others working in relevant functional areas in Dusseldorf can get free use of public transport and taxis as well as permission to buy bigger amounts of foods and goods than stated in the regulations against panic buying. The city is handing out badges to those people, based on registration via employers. Read more here (in German)

Contact: Stefanie Nietfeld

Vienna – Parks open again after Easter

Two girls in front of closed doors of Vienna’s Schoenbrunn park. © Stefan Leeb/Vienna 2020

A political argument between the City of Vienna and the Austrian national government has eventually come to a good end after nearly four weeks. While all parks owned by the city remained open and accessible after the beginning of the coronacrisis, public parks owned by the national government were closed. After a wave of citizens protest, petitions and appeals of the city government, national government showed readiness to reopen the parks after Easter weekend.

Continue reading “Vienna – Parks open again after Easter”

Cardiff – Repurposing for the crisis

Cardiff based Life Sciences Hub Wales is working with businesses from a range of industries, including manufacturing, food and drink, IT and healthcare to explore how they can scale up production, repurpose existing products and deploy their expertise and capabilities to deal with the crisis. Read more here

Contact: Beverley Watson

Muratpaşa – Mask distribution

In Antalya, Muratpaşa Municipality has established a small army for the distribution of 450,000 masks in the district. A fully equipped team of 250 people started to distribute these washable masks from house to house.

The teams will deliver 3 washable masks and mask bags with a warning message against the corona virus to every household in the district. Those who are not at home are left with masks on their doors. Read more (in Turkish) here.

Muratpasa mask team

Contact: Ibrahim Utku

Lille metropole – Crowdfunding medical equipment

The University Hospital in Lille, with the technical support of Lille Metropole and Lille City, has launched a crowdfunding campaign for medical equipment in the Calmette Hospital, which has been transformed into a COVID-19 hospital with 140 dedicated beds. The aim is to enable the rapid acquisition of 20 pulsoxymeters and 10 reanimation respirators to be able to cope with massive hospital admissions for intensive care. The estimated cost of the purchase of this equipment is estimated at over €180,000. In less than 24 hours, the campaign had already collected €23,000. Read more here

Contact: Christophe Bolot

Budapest – Healthcare workers use public transport for free

Healthcare workers, who are able to prove their work, are now permitted to make use of all public transport service for free until the end of the emergency. Additionally, in order to protect drivers of public transport vehicles, passengers are no longer allowed to board by the front doors or sit in the first few seats, which is now closed on busses and trolley busses. A further measure includes reducing the fee for Budapest’s bike-sharing system pass to 100 HUF. Read more here and here and here

Contact: Adrienn Magyar

Zagreb – Urgent response on two fronts

Despite the recent impacts of an earthquake on 22 March, Zagreb is also preparing its coronavirus response. One public institution, which focusses on the rehabilitation of disabled people, has switched its activities to produce face masks, for example. See more here:

Contact: international.relations@zagreb.hr

Antalya Muratpaşa – Printing masks

Antalya Muratpaşa Municipality has started to produce face shields with 3D printers. 3D printing has allowed the municipality to produce 2,150 visors within three days, which have been distributed to professionals at risk, especially those working in hospitals. Read more (in Turkish) here.

The municipality is also working on many other hygiene measures, including disinfecting public areas, markets, service buildings and cultural locations such as Hadrian’s Gate. Read more (in Turkish) here. Ozone rooms for disinfecting people who enter the main municipal building have also been set up. Read more (in Turkish) here.

Contact: Ibrahim Utku

Nice – Support for the vulnerable

Nice has opened a new reception site for the homeless and updated old ones by adding protection and hygiene measures recommended by the health authorities. Read more (in French) here. The city has also teamed up with nearby cities to launch a regional telephone hotline for psychological support to residents. Read more (in French) here. For those with a prescription, medical workers, or people who are exhibiting symptoms of the coronavirus, two drive-through test centres have also been set up. Read more (in French) here.

A special hotline for those with disabilities has also been set up, and an app through which the disabled can get information and ask for help. The city has made available tools like automatic voice transcription and sign language to make sure that everyone can stay up to date on the latest news and advice. Read more (in French) here.

Contact: Jérôme Sieurin

Beşiktaş – Aid to residents

Beşiktaş Municipality has created an online service providing psychological, nutritional and physiotherapy services, as well as family counselling to all residents who have to stay at home. Read more about this service (in Turkish) here.

Support from the municipality is also physical. Beşiktaş, besides its own extensive disinfection procedure, is handing out bags full of necessary hygienic equipment to residents, and is delivering food supplies to residents over 65 years old and to other people in need with the help of local police. The Mayor has joined social welfare workers in preparing the support boxes. Read more about this here.

The municipality is also delivering aid to people with chronic diseases, over 65s, and disabled people who are in social isolation, including hands on medical support and examination, and online medical consultation. Read more (in Turkish) here. To take care of health workers, the city has made student dormitories available to health workers. Read more (in Turkish) here.

Contact: foreignaffairs@besiktas.bel.tr

Hamburg – Ready to treat corona patients from France and Italy

Hamburg has offered to admit ten intensive care corona patients from Italy in one of the city’s hospitals. The local health authority confirmed that Hamburg still has the capacity to treat foreign patients. As of Saturday, 28 March, 36 corona patients in Hamburg were in intensive care. In Italy, many hospitals are overburdened and cannot treat all patients. Since Sunday, two corona patients from France are under intensive care in the university hospital of Hamburg. Read more here (in German)

Contact: Thomas Jacob

Brno – Free face masks for the homeless

Face masks are handed out for free to homeless people by the Social Care Department and the city police of Brno, Czechia. The city has set up a container to collect used masks which are disinfected and then given out again. Brno provides information on the corona measures in six languages: Czech and English, and abridged versions in Russian, Romanian, Arabic and Vietnamese. Read more here

Contact: Pavlina Sukupova

Munster – Virtual hospital for corona patients

The University Hospital of Munster, Germany, offers medical advice to intensive care doctors in other hospitals by video. With this support, corona intensive care patients could stay longer in smaller hospitals close to their home and would not have to be transferred to university hospitals so quickly, while those beds could be reserved for more severe cases. In the region of Westphalia Lippe alone, more than 200 hospitals could use the telemedicine offer from Munster in cooperation with the University Hospital Aachen. Read more here (in German)

Contact: Anna Chevtchenko

Barcelona – Social media app for the elderly

Barcelona is helping the elderly get the information they need on COVID-19 and get answers to their questions on the pandemic. The VinclesBCN Service, already used by 2,400 people aged 65+ to combat loneliness and foster social contacts, adapted to the pandemic by creating a new health channel. The channel is managed by a doctor and nurse, who answer the various questions through text or voice message and feed general health information related to COVID-19 into the different groups in the channel. Although not intended as an emergency phone number, the channel provides official, accurate support to one of the most vulnerable groups affected by COVID-19. Read more here

Contact: Marta Puchal

Ljubljana – Hostel for medical personnel

Ljubljana is offering empty and disinfected rooms in Hostel Celica, run by the Ljubljana Castle public institute, to be used by the University Medical Centre for the accommodation of their staff. The hostel is intended for workers who come to work at UKC Ljubljana from other towns, which means that they no longer need to drive back home every day and that their self-protective measures are made easier.

As public transportation has been temporarily cancelled, many medical workers find the drive to Ljubljana and back home to be very stressful and exhausting. Ljubljana has also opted to provide for all employees of nursing homes who cannot return home every day for various reasons. The nursing homes are now fitted with portable beds which the workers can use when they spend the night in Ljubljana.

Contact: Polona Novak

Munich – Corona tests on the go for medical staff

Besides three drive-in coronavirus testing stations, the city of Munich is setting up a walk-through testing for medical staff. Doctors, nurses, assistants at hospitals and other health care professionals can easily and quickly reach the station and get the test result within 24 hours via sms. Read more here (in German)

Contact: Larissa Kiesel

Ljubljana – Psychological support

The Ljubljana Health Centre has ensured psycho-social support for anyone potentially struggling with the current epidemiological situation. The support is offered via phone or email. It has also been offered by some non-governmental organisations whose programs are co-financed by the city of Ljubljana.

Contact: Polona Novak

Dusseldorf – Education, support and sport

Dusseldorf is turning to the internet and telephone to education, sport and support. A new hotline for the elderly and other high risk populations is available for getting help and advice. Read more (in German) here. A new e-learning platform provided by the city allows teachers to provide their pupils with learning material and online classes. Read more (in German) here. And the municipal department of sport, which usually offers free outdoor classes in Dusseldorf’s parks, has launched online workouts that people can enjoy from home. Read more (in German) here.

Contact: Stefanie Nietfeld

Dusseldorf – Drive-through testing, diagnostic centre and hotline

In order to keep up with testing its citizens for coronavirus infections, Dusseldorf has established a drive through testing centre. People can now make appointments via the coronavirus information line and get tested without getting out of their cars. They will be given the results 24 to 36 hours later. This service is provided only for people working in healthcare, in public safety jobs and critical infrastructure. The drive-throughs are supposed to run over 100 tests per day and should relieve Düsseldorf’s diagnostic centre and hospitals. Read more about the drive-through (in German) here.

The diagnostic centre, running alongside the drive-through, was opened in order to relieve the burden of general medical practitioners in the local health system. Appointments for a test are only issued via the coronavirus information line. Read more (in German) here.

The helpline has run 24/7 since the end of February to provide general information on the virus and also coordinate appointments for the testing of possibly infected citizens in the diagnostic centre. Read more (in German) here.

Contact: Stefanie Nietfeld

Madrid – More health staff for home monitoring

The healthcare personnel of Madrid Salud, an autonomous body dependent on the Madrid City Council, will be incorporated into the primary care services to carry out home surveillance of people with symptoms of coronavirus. Thus, around thirty health professionals, including doctors, nurses and psychologists, will provide their services from this week. Read more here (in Spanish)

Contact: Ana Buñuel

Lille Metropole – Support to hospitals

Lille Metropole is supporting local hospitals by supplying barriers and security guards, new signage and food from the reserves of the municipal office’s restaurant. The metropole is also working to promote the production of protective masks for caregivers by local textile companies and independent dressmakers. Read more (in French) here.

Contact: Christophe Bolot

Madrid – Safe parking for health professionals

Madrid is working with public and private parking providers to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 among health professionals. Parking providers near hospitals are making free space available to health care professionals so that they can park at a greater distance from each other and reduce the chance of transmitting the coronavirus on their way to work. Find out more here.

Contact: Ana Buñuel

Antwerp – City employees volunteer en mass to support triage

In Antwerp a triage system was established to isolate and provide appropriate care to patients infected with the coronavirus. A patient must first contact the GP by telephone. With mild or severe symptoms, the patient is directed to one of five triage points on the city’s territory, where a deeper triage occurs. The triage posts are an initiative of GP associations. However, they do not have enough people to perform all tasks there.

After a survey among its own staff, the city of Antwerp delegated volunteers to support the five triage stations that have been set up in the city’s territory. Hundreds volunteered. In less than two days, 10 coordinators and more than 100 call center, reception and security staff were found, selected, briefed, provided with work equipment and deployed in the triage stations.

Contact: Kris Van Berendoncks

Paris – Support for health staff

Paris is offering services to ensure that those on the front line fighting the spread coronavirus are able to go to work. The city is running child care facilities for the children of health professionals. It is also collaborating with the national level, offering the state skilled personnel, in particular doctors and midwives, who work for the local government.

Paris is also making making space available for doctors whose waiting rooms are too small for appropriate distance to be kept between patients. Read about these and more measures (in French) here. Regular transmissions on Parisian activity around Covid 19 are posted here.

Contact: Jean-Yves Camus

Milan – Three levels of special action

The city of Milan has implemented a range of responses to coronavirus, organised around three levels. Current measures range from the suspension of access restrictions for certain types of vehicles to specific measures for waste collection. For example, the city has invested in disinfecting street containers where waste is collected and in an extra disinfection and sanitation of city streets. Read more here

Contact: Olimpia Vaccarino Aureli

Mannheim/Baden-Württemberg – Patient treatment across the border

Last weekend, patients from French hospitals in the Région Grand Est who needed urgent artificial respiration, were transferred to hospitals in Mannheim, Heidelberg, Freiburg and Ulm. The German hospitals provide in station hospital service and most importantly, ventilators. Read more here

Contact: Nelly Saemann

Brussels – Park closed for cars to give more space for people

Car traffic is banned in the park Bois de la Cambre in Brussels to give more space to visitors and allow a better distance between people, mayor Philippe Close announced. While citizens are asked to stay indoors as much as possible, physical activity outdoors is recommended. For that, it is important to keep a reasonable distance between individuals. Read more here (in French)

Contact: Alfredo Corbalan