EU to Repatriate European Citizens from China due to the CoronavirusEU | January 29, 2020, Wednesday // 11:26| views
The European Commission announced yesterday that it is launching a civil protection mechanism to return EU citizens from China as a measure against the spread of the new virus.
Activation of the mechanism has been requested by France, which needs consular assistance to repatriate its citizens from the city of Wuhan. The EU will provide two aircraft for the return of Europeans from China, the statement said. Further assistance will be provided upon request, the commission adds. It is specified that part of the cost of the flights will be covered by European funds.
The EC states that it is in constant contact with EU countries, with its missions in the area of spread of the virus and with the Chinese Embassy in Brussels. The first flight will depart today from France, and the second is scheduled by the end of the week. The Commission said around 250 French citizens would be on the first flight back and more than 100 citizens of other EU countries would be on the second. For now, only people showing no signs of the virus would be allowed to travel, Reuters reported.
The EC adds that new requests for assistance may be received in the coming days.