European Union calls for health checks at borders as Covid-19 outbreak spreads

People wait to check in to a flight to Chicago at the United Airlines counter in the main terminal of Brussels International Airport in Brussels Thur

People wait to check in to a flight to Chicago at the United Airlines counter in the main terminal of Brussels International Airport in Brussels Thur

"Therefore member states should be encouraged and they should feel comfortable to take all the necessary measures to support the most effective sectors".

In an effort to show President Trump that Eurocrats were working on a "European Solution" to the outbreak, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted that same hour as her office released the statement a picture of her and her colleagues sitting around a table "working on responses on all fronts to tackle the coronavirus impact". He announced that all European travel would be cut off, but U.S. officials later said that restrictions would apply only to most foreign citizens who have been in Europe's passport-free travel zone at any point in the 14 days prior to their arrival in the United States.

The European Commission led by von der Leyen polices the Schengen Area's rules, but individual countries are responsible for their own health and public safety policies.

The tweet by Mr Michel, who coordinates action by the leaders of the EU's 27 member states, followed an overnight decision by Mr Trump to suspend travel from Europe - but not Britain which is no longer part of the bloc - to the USA for 30 days in a bid to stop the spread of the new coronavirus.

Trump is an ally of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and supported Britain's departure from the EU. The U.S. leader also owns three golf resorts in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Trump has slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Europe and threatened broader trade action, notably against European automakers.

The European Commission has announced plans to set up an investment initiative in the amount of €37 billion to deal with the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).

"Good policy-making requires reflection", Mamer said.

More info needed after dog's weak positive COVID-19 test result
This comes after it was confirmed a dog in Hong Kong has tested positive for the virus. Picture: Getty Can dogs catch and spread coronavirus? .

The commission also wants to extend the scope of the EU Solidarity Fund by including a public health crisis, with a view to mobilising it if needed for the hardest hit member states.

Over 1,300 confirmed cases of the virus have been reported in the United States, with 38 deaths so far. France, Spain and Germany have also seen a rise in cases.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, meanwhile, announced the closure of all schools, colleges, childcare facilities and cultural institutions from Thursday evening until March 29. Any people showing coronavirus symptoms could be barred from entering, or placed in quarantine, she said.

The government will order all Spaniards to stay home except to buy food or drugs, go to the hospital, go to work or other emergencies. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

Every country in the European Union has now recorded at least one coronavirus COVID-19 case and the continent as a whole has had 22,969 cases, most notably Italy with 12,462 cases and 827 fatalities.

Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson will present proposals on screening to a meeting of the 27 European Union interior ministers later on Friday. This is not only an unprecedented challenge for our healthcare systems, but also a major shock for out economies.

Von Der Leyen said the European Union was also taking steps to deal with a shortage of protective equipment such as masks, after several countries including Germany and France abruptly banned exports to guard their own supplies. Two ministerial sessions, between health and interior ministers, were held via video-conference this week.

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