The EU is proposing to ban all “non-essential” travel from outside the trade bloc to member states.
Ursula von der Leyen, president of the EU Commission, announced the plans to stop any inbound travel into the EU in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19 today (16 March).
In a message on Twitter, she said long-term residents, family members of EU nationals, doctors, nurses, care workers, and people transporting goods would be exempt from the ban.
She said the EU would like to introduce “green lanes” for the transportation of medical supplies and perishable food between nations, and stressed the Schengen Area would also need to implement the same measures.
“Here in Europe, we are heavily affected by the virus and we know everything we do to reduce social interaction also reduces the speed of the virus,” said Von der Leyen.
“The less travel, the more we can contain the virus.”
The new rules would be in place for an initial 30 days.
The @EU_Commission presents guidelines on border measures & proposes:— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) March 16, 2020
1⃣Green lanes/fast lanes giving priority to essential transport to keep the mobility sector going & ensure economic continuity
2⃣Temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU (30 days) pic.twitter.com/9bda9MntF0