European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (Photo: Thierry Monasse/DPA/PIXSELL) European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (Photo: Thierry Monasse/DPA/PIXSELL)

In an interview for the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that she is hoping that a vaccine for the coronavirus can be developed by the end of the year, adding that clinical testing is being planned soon.

"Before the vaccine is approved and mass production begins, a series of steps must be taken. As for the accelerated vaccination campaign, the EU has already talked to companies about global production options," Von der Leyen added.

According to the newspaper, von der Leyen predicts that restrictions on visits to old people's homes will have to remain in place due to the coronavirus.

"Without a vaccine, contact with senior citizens should remain restricted for as long as possible. I know that it's difficult, and the loneliness is crushing. But it's a matter of life and death. We must remain disciplined and very patient," von der Leyen told Bild am Sonntag.

The President of the European Commission believes that schools and kindergartens will be able to open sooner: "Children and adolescents will be able to move more freely earlier than older people and those with previous illnesses."

The EU is expected to release plans for an exit strategy to gradually ease restrictions on coronavirus this week.

Source: HRT