In a televised message, the President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyne, announced new measures to protect against the spread of coronavirus .
The President of the Commission said that the European Commission proposed to the Heads of Member States to create “green lines” for the optimum and faster movement of essentials.
In addition, he said the EU is expected to close its borders to unnecessary third-country transfers for 30 days.
The @EU_Commission presents guidelines on border measures & proposes:
1⃣Green lanes/fast lanes giving priority to essential transport to keep the mobility sector going & ensure economic continuity
2⃣Temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU (30 days) pic.twitter.com/9bda9MntF0
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) March 16, 2020
The European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, said the EU travel ban proposal would not apply to UK citizens.
She told a press conference: “The UK citizens are European citizens so of course there are no restrictions for the UK citizens to travel to the continent.”
Von Der Leyen also endorsed tough social distancing measures being imposed in Europe. But she urged neighbouring countries to “harmonize” their measures they are taking to give a clear message to citizens.
She said: “It is important that our healthcare system is able to deal with the amount of patients that are severely ill. And therefore it’s of utmost importance to take all these measures member states are taking right now to slow down social contracts to slow down public life.”
On the proposed travel ban she said:
We think non essential travel should be reduced right now in order to not spread the virus further, be it within the European Union or by leaving the European Union.
There will be exemptions for EU citizens coming back home, for health care workers like doctors and nurses, but also scientists working on the solution of this health crisis.
Those commuting to work across borders will also be exempt