Coronavirus: EU entry ban hits travellers as lockdown widens

Passengers wear protective masks as they arrive at Frankfurt airport on Tuesday
Image caption Passengers put on protecting masks as they arrive at Frankfurt airport on Tuesday

Travellers from outdoors the EU are being turned away from airports and borders, after the 27-country bloc imposed a 30-day ban to halt the unfold of coronavirus.

A gaggle flying in from Turkey was turned away from Germany’s greatest airport in Frankfurt late on Tuesday, DPA information company experiences.

EU leaders agreed that inside borders which have been erected in current days ought to come down.

Many Europeans work throughout borders.

More than 185,000 individuals have been contaminated worldwide, based on the World Health Organization. Europe has been recognized by the WHO as now the “epicentre of the epidemic”. Latest figures say some 3,400 individuals have died in Europe alone.

What has the EU agreed?

The 30-day entry ban is not going to have an effect on Europeans going house or cross-border employees. UK residents are additionally not affected by it as a result of an interim Brexit deal nonetheless ties the UK to EU guidelines.

The ban particularly covers all EU states in addition to international locations throughout the Schengen border-free zone, together with Iceland, Switzerland, Norway and Liechtenstein.

All residents will probably be given assist returning house, and Germany on Wednesday mentioned it might proceed a drive to fly house tens of hundreds of vacationers stranded overseas, from Morocco and Egypt to the Philippines and Argentina.

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the scientific physique advising the federal government on well being points, has warned that Germany may see as much as 10 million circumstances of coronavirus infections throughout the subsequent two to a few months except the present containment measures are strictly adopted.

Why are inside borders an issue?

Individual European governments have begun erecting patrols to cease residents from different international locations from getting into.

Patrols appeared on Tuesday on the Spanish border with France, and Poland has seen visitors jams of as much as 50km (31 miles) at a few of its crossings as a part of its well being measures.

“It is absolutely crucial that we unblock the situation, because we know that too many people are stranded within the European Union and have a problem to go back home,” mentioned European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Long queues on Polish border

By Adam Easton, BBC News Warsaw

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Trucks are caught in an extended visitors jam on a highway in Germany about 50km from the Polish border

Some persons are having to attend for greater than 24 hours following the introduction of checks at midnight on Saturday.

Foreigners are briefly banned from getting into the nation and returning Polish residents should be quarantined for 14 days. Border guards sporting protecting fits and face masks are taking the temperature of everybody crossing the border.

Thousands of foreigners are leaving Poland to return house and hundreds of Poles are attempting to get again in.

And then there are the vans. The borders are nonetheless open to items, however the authorities didn’t create particular lanes for truck drivers to cross, so everyone seems to be caught in a single line.

At the crossing in Jedrzychowice on the German border on Wednesday morning, individuals have been caught of their automobiles in a single day, many with nothing to eat or drink and with no entry to bathrooms.

How unhealthy is the scenario in Europe?

In France, the variety of confirmed circumstances in France grew by greater than 16% on Tuesday, reaching 7,730, The demise toll rose to 175, with 7% of the lifeless aged underneath 65.

In the UK, the variety of lifeless has reached 71.

The variety of confirmed circumstances in Spain has soared to 13,500.

Italy, which has registered essentially the most circumstances outdoors China at greater than 31,500, introduced one other surge in deaths on Tuesday, from 2,150 to 2,503.

Belgium introduced 4 extra deaths on Wednesday bringing the general quantity to 14, with 243 new circumstances

In Germany, RKI experiences 8,198 circumstances with 12 deaths. Chancellor Merkel is to make the bizarre step of chatting with the nation in a TV handle afterward Wednesday. She just isn’t anticipated to announce new measures, however somewhat attraction to residents to assist battle the virus.

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Media captionThe BBC’s Laura Foster explains how one can recognise the signs of coronavirus.

What else did the Commission chief say?

Mrs von der Leyen told reporters on Tuesday that she hoped a vaccine could be available by autumn. Her feedback are out of step with well being officers elsewhere, however she mentioned there have been means to hurry up bureaucratic processes that had been usually gradual and troublesome.

The Commission chief has additionally given an interview with German tabloid Bild, wherein she mentioned: “I think that all of us us who are not experts initially underestimated the coronavirus.”

She accepted it was a “worrying enemy” however mentioned she didn’t see the battle towards it as a warfare. Measures that sounded “drastic, draconian” two weeks in the past, she mentioned, had been now accepted as mandatory.

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