The European Commission has proposed a travel ban into the bloc for non-EU citizens for at least 30 days, in an attempt to contain the coronavirus outbreak. The ban would include citizens of EU candidate countries.
EC President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Monday that she was in talks with EU member states’ leaders about her proposal.
“I propose to the heads of state and government to introduce temporary restriction on nonessential travel to the European Union,” she said in a video statement.
The proposal would ban non-EU visitors to enter the block unless they are long-term residents of the EU, family members of EU nationals, diplomats, or medical professionals like doctors, nurses, and researchers. Goods will also be allowed to flow freely.
The European Commission’s proposal exempt from the ban four non-EU countries that are part of the Schengen area – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland – as well as United Kingdom.
The Commission’s proposal will have to be approved by all member states included in the restrictions. Von der Leyen said she had spoken to most of the leaders of member states and received “strong support” for the proposal. On Tuesday, she is expected to conclude talks with all leaders.