So, How Does That Work?
With the first reported cases in Cyprus, the coronavirus is now present in every country in the European Union, health officials said on Tuesday, hours after Italy imposed sweeping travel restrictions across the whole country.
But the measures taken by the bloc’s member states to contain the virus varied widely from country to country, often with little relation to the actual size of the outbreaks, reflecting the lack of international coordination.
Greece and the Czech Republic announced that all schools and universities would close, though each country’s caseload is in the dozens, far fewer than some of their neighbors.
“We may decide on additional emergency measures later,” the Czech prime minister, Andrej Babis, said in a statement on Tuesday. “It is necessary to take active, exceptional measures at the start of an epidemic.”
Spain, with one of the largest outbreaks, closed all education centers in the Madrid region, but not nationwide. In Poland, Poznan, a city in the west of the country, closed schools, swimming pools and other public places after a single infection was discovered.
Worldwide, schooling has been disrupted for more than 300 million students.
Across the Continent, countries also increased travel regulations and guidelines.
Austria barred travelers from Italy without health certificates, and Switzerland was considering a similar measure.
Serbia has temporarily barred travelers from the worst-affected places, including Italy, while Croatian officials said that people entering from “highly infected areas” would face a mandatory 14-day quarantine.Get an informed guide to the global outbreak with our daily coronavirus newsletter.
Italy, with the worst outbreak outside of China, had more than 10,000 infections and 500 deaths by Tuesday. France and Spain each reported on Tuesday that they had more than 1,600 cases; Germany, had more than 1,200.
The authorities in France were resisting taking the kind of sweeping preventive measures seen in Italy or Japan.
“We are only at the beginning of this epidemic,” President Emmanuel Macron of France said on Tuesday after visiting an emergency call center in Paris. “We have anticipated, we have prepared ourselves.”