You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

The European Union is closing its borders in COVID-19 measures

CNET logo CNET 3/17/2020 Corinne Reichert
a wooden bench: The gates of the closed Tuileries Gardens in Paris, on March 16, 2020, as all nonessential public places have been closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Ludovic Marin/Getty Images © Provided by CNET The gates of the closed Tuileries Gardens in Paris, on March 16, 2020, as all nonessential public places have been closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Ludovic Marin/Getty Images

The European Union is closing its borders to temporarily restrict non-essential travel in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen outlined the proposed measures Tuesday, with most European member states agreeing to close borders for the next 30 days. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany would be adopting the entry restrictions immediately. Andorra and some other nations did not agree, Merkel said.

a wooden bench: The gates of the closed Tuileries Gardens in Paris, on March 16, 2020, as all nonessential public places have been closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. © Ludovic Marin/Getty Images

The gates of the closed Tuileries Gardens in Paris, on March 16, 2020, as all nonessential public places have been closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Merkel added the EU is working to ensure wait times at national borders are not too long, so as to assure the movement of goods around the continent. Medical goods and equipment will continue flowing, Merkel said.

"Our priority now is to bend the trend of infection, to give our health systems and workers the time and space to care for those that need it," she said. "Our first priority is guaranteeing the health and safety of all our citizens: protecting people from the spread of the virus while maintaining the flow of goods."

The commission has additionally formed a team of "scientific experts composed of epidemiologists and virologists" from across Europe to coordinate medical response to COVID-19. It's also providing up to €80 million to European research company CureVac for vaccination development and production, and von der Leyen suggested setting up a €37 billion Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative to help small businesses and the health care sector through the crisis.

UP NEXT
UP NEXT
AdChoices
AdChoices

More from CNET

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon