“Protect yourself from the outside and be more flexible on the inside.” The Europeans decided Tuesday evening to lock out access to their territory in an attempt to stem the pandemic of new coronavirus of which the Old Continent is more than ever the epicenter.

“Protect yourself from the outside and be more flexible on the inside.” The Europeans decided Tuesday evening to lock out access to their territory in an attempt to stem the pandemic of new coronavirus of which the Old Continent is more than ever the epicenter.

(ER with .) – At a videoconference meeting, the EU heads of state and government therefore approved a proposal by the European Commission to ban “non-essential” travel to the Union, to an initial term of 30 days. This measure must be implemented by the member states “as quickly as possible,” said Council President Charles Michel after the videoconference.

This closure of the external borders has a number of exceptions (European nationals and their families, long-term residents, diplomats, medical staff, researchers, cross-border workers …), according to the proposal of the European Commission.

. @ EU_Commission presents its guidelines on border measures and proposes:
1⃣ green / fast lanes to give priority to essential transport
2⃣ to introduce a temporary restriction on all non-essential travel to the EU pic.twitter.com/y4tOEVkfpS

– Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen)
   March 16, 2020

Concretely, this means that “any entry of nationals who are not members of the Union will be prohibited, except for the British, the Swiss and the Norwegians”, specifies the EU. If the virus has spread among member countries, the idea is not to overload the various health systems. There are in particular areas where tests are reduced, such as the Balkans and even North Africa.

Behind this measure, there is clearly a political intention to reassure citizens and limit the closings of internal borders which, for the moment, are falling in cascade as in Spain, Germany or Hungary. “By confining itself to the outside, the EU wants to be more flexible on the inside,” said the Commission.

Priority lane for trucks

Brussels therefore aims to preserve the single market and the movement of goods. At a minimum, the Commission advocates that there remain open crossing points between countries to, for example, ensure the delivery of medical equipment and food. In total, 10 member countries of the Union or of the Schengen area have introduced border controls.

The head of the European executive welcomes the fact that the member states have approved the Commission’s recommendations concerning these internal border measures, in particular that of creating a priority lane for trucks in order to avoid traffic jams. The EU is also coordinating the return of the many Europeans stranded abroad.

While the Ministry of Foreign Affairs invites Luxembourg nationals traveling abroad to return to the country as quickly as possible, LuxairTour has just indicated that all its customers would be back by March 21.

As a reminder, on Tuesday, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs had invited Luxembourg nationals and residents currently on the move abroad to urgently assess their possibilities of returning to Luxembourg.

As for the question of economic measures to be taken in the face of the pandemic, the 27 EU finance ministers have promised to “do everything necessary” to respond to the economic difficulties caused by the crisis, but without using the fund for the moment rescue from the eurozone. New measures could again be discussed next week: the summit scheduled for March 26 and 27 has been replaced by a videoconference, the date of which has not yet been set.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and subscribe to our 5pm newsletter.

On the same subject

The coronavirus pandemic explained in graphics

Appeared in December 2019 in China, the covid-19 has since spread to more than 110 countries around the world. In the Grand Duchy, seven cases have been officially detected and several dozen people have been placed in quarantine. Back in figures on a global phenomenon.

Faced with the coronavirus, repatriation is organized

While the Ministry of Foreign Affairs invites Luxembourg nationals traveling abroad to return to the country as quickly as possible, LuxairTour has just indicated that all its customers would be back by March 21.

“Frontier workers must be able to enter”

The European Commission proposed on Monday to introduce a ban on entering its territory to nationals from countries outside the EU. But Ursula von der Leyen intends to guarantee the crossing of EU citizens’ borders.

The first 100 days of von der Leyen

The President of the European Commission is taking stock of her first three months at the helm of the executive on Monday. A period that “barely enough to set a course”, according to the German conservative.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here