EU Leaders Consider Tougher Border Rules to Curb Covid

EU Leaders Consider Tougher Border Rules to Curb Covid
EU Leaders Consider Tougher Border Rules to Curb Covid

EU leaders on Thursday "strongly discouraged" Europeans from non-essential travel and warned tougher restrictions on trips could come within days if efforts to curb the coronavirus fell short.
EU chiefs Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel issued the warning after a four-hour summit by video link with the heads of government of the 27-nation bloc focused on responding to the second wave of the pandemic, France24 reported.
The tone of urgency was fueled by fears over the spread of highly contagious coronavirus variants that could send already high infection rates skyrocketing and strain hospitals, as is happening in former EU member Britain.
"All non-essential travel should be strongly discouraged both within the country and, of course, across borders," von der Leyen, head of the European Commission, told a media conference.
Michel, president of the European Council, said, "It will be probably necessary to take additional restrictive measures in order to limit the non-essential travels and that is the orientation that we are taking."
Both added that further coordination on that issue would be made in "the next days".
But both also said the EU wanted to avoid a repeat of the height of the first wave, in March last year, when several member states panicked and closed off national borders unilaterally, triggering travel and economic chaos.
"It is absolutely important to keep the single market functioning," von der Leyen said, so that workers and freight can continue to cross borders. The European Union is "one epidemiological zone", she said. 

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