#COVID19-How local and regional authorities respond to the crisis

Responses from Luxembourgish municipalities

Luxembourg is composed of 102 municipalities (‘communes’) responsible for providing public services. Since the start of the pandemic (symbolised by the adoption of a state of emergency on 22.03.2020), municipalities have had to adapt their services.

The Ministry of the Interior and SYVICOL (an association of Luxembourgish cities and municipalities) are responsible for the coordination of these measures on a national level. Measures taken so far include the distribution of 3.5 million masks across households in Luxembourg, including cross-border workers from France, Germany and Belgium (i.e. about 200,000 people). Additionally, anyone insured under the Luxembourg social security system can be tested for the coronavirus in Luxembourg, including cross-border workers.

On a municipal level, SYVICOL collected responses to the health crisis from local authorities in Luxembourg, with the aim of establishing an overview of municipal responses. The City of Luxembourg was the first to make its pandemic plan available to all the Luxembourgish municipalities, as a model for municipal continuity plans.

Emile Eicher, SYVICOL’s president, commented that “this enabled the municipalities to adapt quickly to the new situation.” Mr. Eicher also highlighted that the local authorities should continue to maintain this dynamic and that SYVICOL continues to fulfil its role “as coordinator and link with the government.”

Following the pandemic plan adopted by the City of Luxembourg, municipalities have established a “security and continuity plan” (Plan de sécurité et de continuité). It allows a distinction to be made between essential and non-essential services, in order to determine how the continuity of infrastructure - public transport, energy and water supply, roads, administrative services - can be ensured in the current situation.

Additionally, a plan to protect vulnerable citizens has been laid out. Measures include a grocery delivery service, meal delivery service, medication delivery service or transport to the nearest pharmacy, as well as helplines that have been introduced to protect the elderly, isolated or vulnerable people.

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