Blanket border closures makes no sense in pandemic - EU's von der Leyen

European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen listens to speeches during a plenary session on the inauguration of the new President of the United States and the current political situation, at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, January 20, 2021. Francisco Seco/Pool via REUTERS

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union countries need to synchronise the roll-out of vaccine measures and may need additional restrictions, but should not simply close their borders to keep COVID-19 cases down, the bloc’s chief executive said on Wednesday.

“The blanket closures of borders in this situation makes no sense,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a speech to the European Parliament.

“It harms the functioning of our single market and it is not as effective as targeted measures and this is why we need a common approach to test, trace, travel and borders.”

Reporting by Marine Strauss and Philip Blenkinsop