E.U. leaders close borders to most outsiders

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Leaders of the 26 European countries in the Schengen zone, which enables borderless movement in much of the European Union, voted on Tuesday to temporarily close their borders to people from countries outside the E.U. to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The travel ban marked the first joint response to the pandemic in the E.U. The measure also prohibits sending medical supplies to other countries. The ban, which Britain didn’t plan to join, will remain in place for at least 30 days.

E.U. leaders said they would continue the free circulation of goods within the zone. European citizens and residents returning home will be allowed in.

Medical professionals and scientists also will be exempt.

France and Spain also announced massive relief packages to soften the economic damage of the crisis.

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