Wednesday, March 18, 2020

EU Seal Borders

A border police officer gestures as they check vehicles at the last toll gate entering Spain from France, following an order from the Spanish government to set up controls at its land borders over coronavirus, in La Jonquera, Spain, March 17, 2020. 

The European Union decided Tuesday, to immediately ban travelers from outside the bloc for 30 days in an unprecedented move to seal their borders amid the coronavirus crisis. 

The travel ban will affect all non-EU nationals from visiting the bloc, except long-term residents, family members of EU nationals and diplomats, cross-border and healthcare workers, and people transporting goods. 

The measure is expected to apply to 26 EU states as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. I understand UK will be invited to join in.

To think that just last month, on February 24 to be precise, the EU had dismissed the Covid-19 threat and refused to consider border control.

Notwithstanding the ban, EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen (left) wants the EU to "unblock the situation" with regards to closed internal borders because "too many people are stranded". 

The prohibition came as deaths continued to soar in Italy and Spain, and France began a strict lockdown. 

Europe has been badly hit by the virus, which has killed 8,227 globally.

Certainly, Covid-19 has become a force majeure event worldwide and Malaysia is not excluded.

We have seen a spike in Covid-19 infections and already two deaths on Tuesday.

And one consequence of the Movement Control Order (previously referred to as Restricted Movement Order) in place beginning today right up until March 31, 2020 – is that all social activities have ceased. Including Toastmasters meetings. 

And even if I still have thirteen days remaining before my eleven-year-and-nine-month Toastmaster journey comes to a grinding halt – actually, it effectively ended today.

Toastmasters club meetings that I’m scheduled to attend at EcoWorld (x2), Crystal, Shah Alam, Monash, KPP, IJM and SOHK are all aborted. 

A sobering realization that Toastmasters and I are set to divorce. Permanently.

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