Italy was the first European country to be hit by the virus and the first in the world to impose a nationwide lockdown, in early March.
Many European countries followed suit, and most have only begin reopening this month after painful shutdowns that devastated their economies.
Facing the biggest recession in the EU’s history, leaders on Friday held a virtual summit on the European Commission’s proposal for a 750 billion euro ($840 billion) rescue fund.
However they fell short of reaching a deal on a plan that has been seen as a key gesture of solidarity and unity for the troubled bloc.
Opposition is fierce from the “frugal four” — Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and Austria — who have promised to fight to rein in spending.