- Leaders of European Union countries have agreed to close the EU’s external borders to most people from other countries for 30 days in a new effort to slow the coronavirus pandemic.
- Movement within European Union member nations will be still be allowed.
- On Monday, Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, said he was closing his nation’s borders to foreigners, with the major exception of U.S. citizens.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the planned closings of the massive union’s external borders at a press conference.
Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission said the United Kingdom is not applying restrictions to their external borders, even though it had been invited to do so
European Union agrees to close external borders for 30 days
The restrictions are not applied to medical staff, medicines nor goods.
“The union and its member states will do whatever it takes,” said European Council President Charles Michel.
Michel said the EU will arrange for the repatriation of citizens of member countries.
Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission said the United Kingdom is not applying restrictions to their external borders, even though it had been invited to do so.
The EU is an economic and political union of most of the countries in Europe, including Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, the Benelux nations, Austria, Greece, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and all Scandavian countries with the exception of Norway.
Great Britain previously was an EU member before Brexit. Switzerland is another conspicuous non-member, as are most of the former component nations of communist Yugoslavia, with the exception of Croatia and Slovenia.
On Monday, Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, said he was closing his nation’s borders to foreigners, with the major exception of U.S. citizens.
Also Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron ordered people in that nation to stay at home for up to 15 days, except for essential needs.
European leaders have decided to ban non-essential travel to the European Union for 30 days, President of the European Council Charles Michel announced today, saying it is a measure “to limit the spread of the virus globally”.
The decision was first announced by German Chancellor Angela Merkel following a video conference with EU heads of state.
“All the member states have taken very strong measures to reduce movement, to reduce travel… and also to take the pressure of health services,” Michel said. “Health is going to be key – everything is going to turn around that in the coming days.”
In a joint press conference alongside Michel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said a “big topic” of discussion was the internal blockages with the movement of goods inside the EU.
“We have a lot of traffic jams… we need these goods,” she urged, adding there was approval from member states for so-called fast track lanes to get goods flowing.