European Union chief Ursula warns against unilateral coronavirus travel bans

Clay Curtis
March 14, 2020

The World Health Organization describes the novel coronavirus outbreak as a "controllable pandemic" and European countries - working with the EU - are scrambling to coordinate a response. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. "They disrupt people's lives and business across the borders".

The European Commission has announced a coordinated response to counter the economic impact of the coronavirus. He announced that all European travel would be cut off, but USA officials later said that restrictions would apply only to most foreign citizens who have been in Europe's passport-free travel zone at any point in the 14 days prior to their arrival in the United States.

"Any measure that is taken must be proportionate" and co-ordinated with Brussels, she said.

The European Commission has said that the European Union "disapproves" of President Donald Trump's decision to protect his citizens from further foreign exposure to coronavirus by banning entry from most of the bloc's countries without having consulted with Brussels, first.

Workers wearing protective suits spray disinfectant inside a vehicle at a bus depot in Athens, March 14, 2020. The countries in the Schengen Area include Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Besides smoothing travel arrangements, it allows businesses and transport to move easily across borders of the countries in the zone.

Several EU meetings have been canceled to slow the spread, but the bloc's interior ministers are still scheduled to gather in Brussels on Friday.

"We will every available tool at our disposal to get through these hard times with all our economic possibilities and to make sure we come out of this situation in good shape".

New Zealand tells overseas arrivals to self-isolate
New Zealand has instructed officials to step up enforcement of self isolation through measures such as spot checks, Ardern said. The Prime Minister also announced that no cruise ships will be allowed to come to New Zealand until June 30.

"The problem is on different levels in different countries", Swedish Interior Minister Mikael Damberg told reporters.

When it comes to internal Schengen borders, member countries must inform the commission within 10 days if they reintroduce systematic border checks for unforeseen public safety reasons.

Under the new rules, European countries can reimburse the loss of businesses, create direct state support schemes or capitalize banks to provide urgent liquidity support for companies in need due to the economic consequences of the virus.

"But each member state needs to live up to its full responsibility and the European Union as a whole needs to be determined, coordinated and united".

The ministers were also expected to discuss the 30-day U.S. travel ban on people coming from inside the Schengen Area.

This afternoon, the Spanish government announced it will put the country under lockdown as part of its state of emergency measures meant to combat the coronavirus.

European Union leaders expressed disapproval of the action, saying they should have been consulted and that a disease of pandemic proportions knows no borders.

Mr Trump's order is to be implemented from late Friday.

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