Guidelines for the implementation of non-pharmaceutical interventions against COVID-19

Public health guidance

Guidelines for non-pharmaceutical interventions to reduce the impact of COVID-19 in the EU/EEA and the UK. 24 September 2020. ECDC: Stockholm; 2020.

Page last updated: 23 November 2021

Non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI) are public health measures that aim to prevent and/or control SARS-CoV-2 transmission in the community. After vaccination, NPIs are the most effective public health interventions against COVID-19. These ECDC guidelines detail available options for NPIs in various epidemiologic scenarios, assess the evidence for their effectiveness and address implementation issues, including potential barriers and facilitators. Further ECDC guidance related to the use of NPIs can be found in the below list. These can be of support when looking to tailor NPIs to the epidemiological situation as well as level of vaccination coverage in a population.

Relevant ECDC guidance documents


Please access ECDC’s rapid risk assessment related to COVID-19 for “options for response” related to the most recent epidemiological situation and/or for specific settings (e.g. long-term care facilities). ​​​​​​

Individual level

Respiratory hygiene, hand hygiene, and PPE

Environmental level

Environmental cleaning


Population level

Limiting physical inter-personal interactions

Shielding of medically- and sociably-vulnerable populations

Travel-related measures

More resources

Page last updated: 23 Nov 2021