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Dublin: 5 °C Saturday 6 June, 2020
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European Union imposes entry ban on outside travellers for 30 days

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said coordinated action is taking place to bring back stranded citizens.

Image: DPA/PA Images

THE EUROPEAN UNION will impose an entry ban on travellers from outside the bloc for 30 days to battle the spread of the coronavirus, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said. 

Member states “agreed to impose an entry ban” into the bloc, with only nationals of EFTA countries and Britain exempt from the restriction, said Merkel.

“That should apply for 30 days. Germany will implement it immediately,” she added.

With countries severely curtailing travel to prevent COVID-19 contagion, Germany had earlier issued a warning against travel worldwide.

The bloc is taking “coordinated action to bring back stranded travellers,” said Merkel.

In a statement this evening, the Irish government said Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and other EU leaders in a video conference discussed managing external borders, ensuring the supply of medicines, equipment and goods and cooperating to bring people home from other countries.

They endorsed Commission proposals on non-essential travel and on managing borders. They agreed that in all matters they would do whatever it takes to protect citizens in the face of an unprecedented crisis, and that they would continue work together on this.
The Taoiseach emphasised the need for the Union to use all tools available to it to maximum effect to protect life and to minimise damage. He highlighted the need also to work together to bring citizens stranded abroad – in Spain and further afield – safely home.

During the video call, leaders also discussed mitigating the economic shock and damage, including for jobs and SMEs and supporting research to find a vaccine.

They agreed to meet again next week by video conference in place of their scheduled meeting in Brussels.

 

 

© AFP 2020 with reporting by Michelle Hennessy.

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