Organisation representing all sectors of the cooling and heating industry have called on EU member states to consider their services and manufacturing sites as critical during the coronavirus crisis.

The groups including the European Partnership for Energy and the Environment (EPEE) and the European refrigeration and air conditioning component manufacturers group ASERCOM insist that their members’ operations are vital to maintaining the health, safety, productivity and comfort of citizens whilst measures are taken to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

“We have now reached a crucial moment, when decisions are taken to define which facilities and services are critical for a country’s operation. HVACR services and manufacturing sites as well as the entire cold chain are part of such critical infrastructure and should therefore be allowed to keep running,” the statement says.

The groups maintain that they support the measures governments are taking to guarantee the immediate safety and wellbeing of European citizens, and draw attention to the essential role covered by their members.

These they list as the continued distribution of heat-sensitive medicines and medical devices; the transport, delivery and storage of fresh food; the operation of key facilities such as data centres; and the health and well-being of people with emergency air circulation, temperature regulation, and heating and cooling equipment.

“For these reasons, it will be essential that HVACR technicians are allowed to intervene in case of required equipment installation, maintenance or failure, especially in critical infrastructures; and that the cold chain is able to work continuously,” they say.

In addition to EPEE and ASERCOM, the statement is supported by ADC3R, the French association of refrigerant distributors and reclaimers, the European heating industry body EHI, the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA), the temperature controlled logistics group ECSLA and temperature controlled road transport association Transfrigoroute International.