European Union proposes 30-day ban on nonessential entry

EU interior ministers prepare to meet in Belgium on Friday.
EU interior ministers prepare to meet in Belgium to coordinate their response to the novel coronavirus on Friday.
(Thierry Monasse / Associated Press )

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wants the European Union to put in place a 30-day ban on people entering the bloc unless their travel is essential, in an effort to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.

On the eve of an EU summit via video conference, Von der Leyen said Monday, “I propose to the heads of states and government to introduce temporary restrictions on nonessential travel to the European Union.

“The less travel, the more we can contain the virus,” she said in a video message.

Von der Leyen says that people with long-term EU residency or who are family members of European citizens, plus diplomats, doctors and healthcare workers could be exempted from the ban. Transport workers also could be exempt to help keep goods flowing.