Developments in COVID-19 long-term care measures in 8 European countries, November 2020 to March 2021 (Vilans, NL)

Henk Nies, Elsbeth Zielman, Monique Bressers, Noëlle Sant (Vilans, Centre of Expertise for Long-term Care in the Netherlands)

At Vilans we have mapped out the measures taken by the governments of eight countries to deal with COVID-19 and its consequences for long-term care. The aim is to learn from these measures and to draw inspiration from them. In this third overview we show how Belgium (especially Flanders), Denmark, Germany (especially North Rhine-Westphalia), France, Norway, the United Kingdom (especially England), Sweden and the Netherlands have operated since November 2020 until March 2021. For the measures taken before this period, we refer to our earlier publications.

This overview focuses particularly on vaccination strategies, rapid testing and impact on workers’ deployment and changes in administration. We have also set up timelines beginning with the most recent measures and going backwards.

This work has been commissioned by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports in the Netherlands, to whom Vilans provides detailed reports every three weeks. The overview serves as inspiration and helps to gain insight into long-term care policies in other European countries. Data is collected by reviewing key publications and websites in the various countries as well as by reviewing publications published on international forums, such as the International Long-term Care Policy Network’s LTCcovid platform. Furthermore, numerous experts in the countries concerned, have assisted us in collecting additional information and providing additional insights for a deeper understanding.

Key highlights:
• In none of the countries do you see a general, national closure of healthcare institutions.
• Rapid tests are increasingly used in institutions, both preventively and with symptoms.
• In all countries, the highest priority was given to the most vulnerable persons: clients in nursing homes and people in disability care facilities.
• Currently, vaccinations have been given to those clients in long-term care who have agreed to be vaccinated.
• The availability of sufficient staff is a major concern in the various phases of the pandemic.
• In an increasing number of countries, relaxation of the visiting policy is being carefully introduced.
• In many countries, consideration is being given to how, step by step, regular care can be resumed.

The full report is available here:

covid-19-in-long-term-care-until-march-2021.pdf (

Leave a Reply