Over the past few days, it’s been challenging to keep up with what “borders” are closed and which ones are open, but I think it’s safe to say at this point that no one is going anywhere any time soon.
Yesterday, the European Union announced it will close its borders to all non-essential travel in an attempt to contain the ongoing spread of the coronavirus.
“The less travel, the more we can contain the virus,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Monday following a video conference between G7 leaders.
Commission President von der Leyen said the EU travel restrictions would be in place “for an initial period of 30 days,” and could be extended. Family members of European nationals, essential staff, such as doctors and nurses, and people transporting goods to the EU will be exempted, she added.
Citizens of non-Schengen EU member states will also be invited to apply the travel ban as well (i.e. Albania, Andora, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Georgia, Ireland, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine, The United Kingdom and Vatican City).
French President Emmanuel Macron declared “war” on the virus during a national address, banning all social events across the country, including family gatherings. France has over 5,400 confirmed cases and 130 deaths.
Germany also announced new restrictions on public life, closing bars, clubs, discos, and similar establishments, as well as theaters, opera houses, concert halls and museums. Germany has over 8,600 confirmed cases and 23 deaths.
Italy and Spain are the hardest hit countries in the EU, and 2nd and 3rd in the world respectively. Combined, they have a total of 44,000 cases and over 4,000 deaths.
In short, this means that most, if not all international flights to the European countries will be cancelled in the coming days and more airlines will suspend service as well.
Even if you don’t speak Italian, I’ll leave you with this…