March 16, 2020 / 3:15 PM / 20 days ago

EU executive proposes shutting down bloc's external borders for 30 days

BRUSSELS, March 16 (Reuters) - The European Union’s executive on Monday proposed a 30-day ban on incoming travel for foreigners to the bloc to battle the spread of coronavirus.

“The less travel, the more we can contain the virus. Therefore ... I propose to the heads of state and government to introduce temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU,” said European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen. “These travel restrictions should be in place for an initial period of 30 days, but can be prolonged as necessary.”

She said exemptions included long-term EU residents, family members of EU nationals, diplomats, doctors and researchers working on containing the health crisis. (Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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