Coronavirus: EU's borders will close for 30 days from noon tomorrow

Andrew Cummings
March 18, 2020

As of Tuesday morning, over 6,000 had tested positive for the virus in France and the death toll was at 148.

Photographers move around in a almost empty press room as European Council President Charles Michel, right, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, left, speak after a video-conference with G7 leaders at the European Council building in Brussels, March 16, 2020.

"Even while medics were warning about the gravity of the situation, we saw people get together in the parks, busy markets and restaurants and bars that did not respect the order to close", Macron said.

Covid-19 in Paris

For small companies, he said they will have nothing to pay from a fiscal point of view, with gas, electricity and rent payments to be suspended. "Never before in history has France had to take such exceptional measures in a time of peace", said President Emmanuel Macron.

"Essential staff such as doctors, nurses, care workers, researchers and experts that help address the coronavirus should continue to be allowed in the European Union", von der Leyen said.

She appeared confident that the European Council would sign off on the restriction in a vote today.

"All trips between non-European countries and the European Union and the Schengen zone will be suspended for 30 days", he said in a televised address to the nation. The 12.9 per cent drop in the Dow was its worst since 1987.

The CDC recommended that all events consisting of 50 or more people within the next eight weeks should be canceled or postponed, while the president advised Americans to avoid social gatherings of 10 or more people. The army will be mobilized to help move the sick to hospitals, he said.

The losses came as huge swaths of the economy come closer to a standstill due to the outbreak as businesses and travel shut down.

The policy shift comes after Mr Johnson's response to the crisis came under very public criticism, and sparked suggestions that he is not taking it anywhere near seriously enough.

Macron said under the new regime gatherings among friends and family would no longer be allowed, only "necessary movements" like shopping, medical visits or working when tele-commuting was not possible.

He added that people who won't abide by the new guidelines will be fined.

French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner subsequently specified that all people circulating on France's streets will have to justify, upon request, why they were out and about. Johnson said the government was advising the entire population "to stop non-essential contact with others and to stop all unnecessary travel".

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