BELGIUM: European contractors’ group, AREA, has joined calls for recognition of the critical role that air conditioning and refrigeration plays in protecting people’s health and safety during the coronavirus crisis.
In an open letter to the European Union and national heads of states and governments, AREA president Marco Buoni points to the essential nature of air conditioning, refrigeration, including the preservation of food and medicines, providing thermal comfort in hospitals and homes, and the continued operation of data centres.
“In this context, refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump contractors represented by AREA play an essential role by ensuring the maintenance, repair and overall efficient functioning of refrigeration and cooling systems,” Buoni writes. “They allow the cold chain to operate and the Internet to function, and they support healthcare.”
He calls for European member states to enable refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump contractors “to fulfil their duty in support of European citizens’ most essential needs and in full respect of the sanitary measures protecting operatives’ health and safety”.
In addition to seeking recognition of the essential characteristic of refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump contractors, he asks for the cross-border circulation of operatives to be permitted under reasonable health and safety conditions, and for the flow of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment and parts to be preserved.