Europe is closing borders amid coronavirus outbreak. They may be hard to reopen.
Europe’s 26-nation Schengen Area is also preparing to shut its external borders to most nonresidents for the first time.
“We are at war,” French President Emmanuel Macron said Monday in a late-night address to the French people.
“This unprecedented health crisis will have major human, social and economic consequences,” Macron said. “It is also this challenge that we must take up. I ask you for sacrifices to slow down the epidemic.”
Until last week, citizens of the E.U. could move across the continent with ease, even as the virus slowly spread across its population. Just as a resident of Maryland can easily pack bags and head to Virginia, so, too, could a Pole cross into Germany.
The about-face in Europe is proving as disruptive as it would be if American states imposed border controls on one another. And since Europe’s countries are no longer built for self-sufficiency and no country manufactures or grows everything it needs, the effect of the internal blockade could quickly become catastrophic.
[Source: Washington Post]