The European Union on Tuesday approved a 30-day ban for non-essential travel to its 27 member states for people from non-member nations, in a bid to stem the spread of coronavirus.
The EU heads of state and government held a three-hour videoconference to discuss the bloc’s further steps against the spread of the virus and preventing the economic fallout.
The travel to the EU for non-EU citizens will be restricted for 30 days, which can be extended.
“All EU nationals will receive help to return home,” the European Council’s President Charles Michel announced at a news conference.
UK nationals still can enter the EU’s territory, as they are considered as EU nationals during the post-Brexit transition period till the end of this year, the European Commission’s President Ursula von der Leyen clarified at the same news conference.
Citizens of the European countries that are members of the Schengen zone can also enter the EU.
EU leaders also welcomed the European Commission’s proposals on economic measures and reassuring the provision of goods between European states by creating special green lanes at borders for lorries carrying food and healthcare equipment, von der Leyen said.
Many EU states have reintroduced border controls or completely closed the borders to prevent the spread of the virus which severely disrupts the EU’s internal market.
EU leaders also agreed to hold a videoconference every week to discuss the latest developments as part of its the fight against the virus.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Europe as the new epicenter of the coronavirus, which first emerged in Wuhan, China last December.
*Writing by Usman MirAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.