Ursula von der Leyen: Europe to Close its Doors for 30 DaysEU | March 17, 2020, Tuesday // 07:18| views
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has suggested that the bloc close its borders on non-essential travel as Europe fights the spread of coronavirus.
"The less travel, the more we can contain the virus," von der Leyen said in a video statement, adding, "I propose to the heads of state and government to introduce temporary restriction on nonessential travel to the European Union," she said.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wants the European Union to introduce a 30-day ban on people from entering the bloc, unless their travel is essential, in an attempt to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.
On the eve of the EU summit, via videoconference, von der Leyen said on Monday that "We think nonessential travel should be reduced right now in order not to spread the virus further, be it within the European Union or by leaving the European Union, but also to avoid nonessential travels not to have more potential strain on our healthcare system." she said in a video message.
Von der Leyen said long-term residents of the EU or family members of European citizens, plus diplomats, doctors and healthcare professionals, could be exempted from the ban. Transport workers could also be exempted from the ban to help maintain the movement of goods.