Coronavirus: No Suspension of the Schengen Area envisaged by the European Commission

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Coronavirus. No suspension of the Schengen area envisaged by the European Commission

Faced with the outbreak of the new coronavirus in Italy, any re-establishment of border controls inside the EU will have to meet strict conditions, the European Commission said on Monday. 232 million euros of European funding will also be mobilized to help the Member States.

No suspension of the free movement of goods and people in force in the Schengen area is envisaged despite the multiplication of cases of disease due to the new coronavirus in Italy , said Monday 24th February 2020 the European Commission, which however said prepare emergency plans.

Four people died from the disease and 165 cases have been reported in Italy since Friday, making it the most affected European country. Austria briefly suspended rail links to the peninsula on Sunday evening.

Strict conditions for re-establishing border controls

Regarding different scenarios such as a coordinated Schengen suspension, we are not considering them at the moment, but we are working on various emergency plans, said Janez Lenarcic, European Commissioner for Crisis Management, at a conference release in Brussels. The Schengen Borders Code allows temporary reinstatement of controls, but any decision should be made under certain conditions , said European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic during a press briefing in Brussels.

Thus, such a decision, which belongs to the Member States, must be based on a credible risk assessment and scientific evidence, be proportionate and taken in coordination with the others, explained the Slovenian.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has yet to recommend restricting travel or trade , said Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides . She added that representatives of the body would travel to Italy on Tuesday to assess the situation.

232 million euros released to help Member States

With the spread of the Covid-19 virus in Italy, the Commission will intensify its support to the Member States in the context of the preparation, contingency and planning measures which are already underway , she announced in a press release. a press release published Monday.

Of the 232 million euros in European funding, 114 million euros will notably support the World Health Organization (WHO). 15 million euros should be allocated in Africa, including to the Institut Pasteur Dakar, Senegal, to support measures such as rapid diagnosis and epidemiological surveillance. € 100 million, including € 90 million in public-private partnership with the pharmaceutical industry for research into a vaccine and € 10 million for research projects on epidemiology, diagnosis, therapy and management clinical in the context of containment and prevention.

Finally, 3 million euros allocated to the EU civil protection mechanism for EU citizens’ repatriation flights to Wuhan, China. € 3 million will be allocated to the EU Civil Protection Mechanism for EU citizens’ return flights to Wuhan.

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