The EU Commission president has called for all non-essential travel into the EU to be banned for 30 days.
She proposed shutting borders for a month to stop the spread of the disease, but said it could be prolonged if necessary.
‘The less travel, the more we can contain the virus. Therefore I propose to the heads of state and government to introduce temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU.
She added: ‘These travel restrictions should be in place for an initial period of 30 days, but can be prolonged as necessary’.
The ban does not apply to the UK, which is transitioning out of the EU after officially leaving on January 31st.
She told the news conference: ‘The UK citizens are European citizens so of course there are no restrictions for the UK citizens to travel to the continent.’
EU officials have been calling for more a coordinated approach to slowing the spread of coronavirus across the continent and have insisted on the need to keep the 27-nation bloc’s internal borders open as much as possible.