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European Union Will Be Closing Its Borders to All Non-Essential Travel




  • The restrictions will be in place for an initial period of 30 days.
  • Exemptions will be made for family members of European nationals, doctors and nurses, and people transporting goods.
  • The restriction came shortly after Spain was put on partial lockdown.

With the ongoing spread of the coronavirus, the European Union has decided to prohibit travelers from crossing its borders. This ban on non-essential travel is one of the EU’s initiatives to battle the deadly disease.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that “The less travel, the more we can contain the virus,” as she spoke after a video conference with G7 leaders.

She expects that the council would sign off on the proposed restriction.

Days after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that Europe was at the center of the pandemic, the bloc imposed aggressive measures, with French President Emmanuel Macron “declaring war” on the virus on his national address on Monday. His government banned holding social events – including family gatherings – across the country.

Macron added that people who have gathered in public places during the recent days was disrespectful of the previous measures implemented to limit the spread of the outbreak in the country.

According to WHO, France currently has 5,380 confirmed cases and 127 deaths.

Germany followed suit, placing restrictions on public activities and closing clubs, bars, discos, and similar establishments. The closure also applies to museums, concert halls, and opera houses.

During a press conference on Monday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said:

“These are measures that have never existed in our country before, but they are necessary.”

However, essential establishments such as gas stations, supermarkets, pharmacies, launderettes, and hair salons will be open.

The travel restrictions in EU will be in place for an initial period of 30 days, according to Von der Leyen.

Exceptions will be made for family members of European nationals, for health care professionals, and for those transporting goods to the territory.

The EU restriction came shortly after Spain implemented a partial lockdown, closing the country’s land borders.

According to its health ministry, Spain already has a total of 9,190 cases, with 309 deaths.

Spanish residents, which is approximately 47 million people, have been banned from leaving their homes. Exemptions were made for those buying food, going to work, going to the hospital, or those who have children or an elderly in their care.

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