Germany latest country to close borders

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Germany has become the latest country to close borders as European nations try to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Its borders with France, Austria and Switzerland were shut on Monday morning, except for commercial traffic.

Germany is advising its citizens to refrain from all non-essential trips abroad due to the spread of the coronavirus, a spokeswoman for the foreign ministry said on Monday.

She added there were currently thousands of Germans abroad who would like to return and that the ministry was currently in discussions with airline Lufthansa about repatriating them.

France is considering more stringent lockdowns, with its health chief saying the situation is “deteriorating fast”.

Leaders of the G7 nations are to hold a video conference on Monday to discuss a joint response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Central banks around the world, including the US Federal Reserve and those in the UK, Japan, Canada, and Switzerland have cut interest rates and taken other measures to try to curb the economic turmoil, but stock markets in Asia and Europe still fell.

The EU’s Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said a recession was now expected, with a 2-2.5% negative growth.

Read more via BBC

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