Coronavirus: EU initiates border shutdown

Brussels: European Union has decided to close its external borders to non-European travelers for a period of 30 days.

Twenty-six European countries that are part of what is normally a free-movement zone also agreed Tuesday to shut their external borders to most nonresidents for the first time.

The ban is applicable to Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, while British citizens have been exempted from this travel ban.

French President Emmanuel Macron stated, “As of tomorrow noon, external borders of the European Union and the Schengen area will be closed.”
“All travel between non-EU countries and the European Union will be suspended for 30 days,” he added.

Earlier, France has reported a surge of 16 per cent in coronavirus cases, with the total reaching 7,730, and 175 casualties.

The decision comes after the European outbreak of the virus created political tensions among member states that placed enormous pressure on Brussels to act. According to EU officials, closing external borders will help European nations to coordinate their efforts to contain coronavirus outbreak without shutting down their internal borders.