EU to close borders

March 17, 2020

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Border closures, checks

French President Emmanuel Macron says the 27-nation European Union is to close all its external borders for 30 days.

Germany implements controls at its land borders with Austria, Denmark, France, Luxembourg and Switzerland.

Spain announces it is closing its land borders.

Chile closes all its land, maritime and air frontiers.

Egypt will close its airports from Thursday to March 31.

Greece announces a 14-day quarantine for all arrivals on Greek soil.

French, Germans ‘stay home’

Macron orders French people to stay home from midday Tuesday except for essential travel for the next 15 days and says violators will be “punished”.

Saying “we are at war”, he postpones the second round of French municipal elections set for March 22.

Germany also urges citizens to stay at home and cancel holidays.

The UK urges an end to “non-essential contact” and travel.

Global toll tops 7,000

Since the virus first emerged in late December, more than 175,530 cases have been recorded in 145 countries and territories. The death toll stood at 7,007.

The worst affected countries in terms of fatalities are mainland China, with 3,213 deaths, Italy with 2,158 deaths, 853 in Iran, 309 in Spain and France with 127 deaths.

State of emergency

Switzerland imposes emergency measures to April 19, banning all gatherings, tightening borders and deploying the military.

Skies empty

Britain grounds most of its air fleet.

German airline Lufthansa says it will slash up to 90 percent of its long-haul capacity.

Austrian company Austrian Airlines is to suspend from Thurs­day all its regular flights.

Published in Dawn, March 17th, 2020