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Brussels – The leaders of European Union nations have agreed to institute a travel ban that prohibits most foreigners from entering the bloc for 30 days to discourage the spread of the new coronavirus.

EU leaders agreed on Tuesday to shut down the 27-nation’s bloc’s external borders immediately.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the proposal by EU officials “got a lot of support by the member states. It’s up to them now to implement. They said they will immediately do that.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said late Tuesday that European leaders agreed in a conference call to the Commission’s proposal for an entry ban with “very, very limited exceptions.”

The EU leaders also agreed to coordinate the repatriation of EU citizens stranded outside the bloc, she said.

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