THE coronavirus has sparked travel chaos across Europe with 40-mile queues at borders after the EU slammed shut its doors.
The deadly outbreak has now infected more than 60,000 people and killed 3,400 after tearing through the continent.
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Governments are now taking drastic measures to slow the spread, including lockdowns and travel restrictions.
And there was chaos at borders across the EU after countries reintroduced checks across the previously passport-free Schengen Area.
Dramatic pictures show queues of lorries and cars tailed back nearly 40 miles at the frontier between Poland and Lithuania.
Janina Stukiene, who was stuck in the traffic with her husband and son, said: “We are all desperate, cold and sleepless here for a third day.
“We just want to go home.”pain
Similar traffic jams were visible on the borders with Germany and the Czech Republic.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said leaders agreed to set up green lanes for trucks and other priority vehicles aimed at beating the jams.
Spain, France, Germany and Bulgaria have now all blocked travel even with countries in the free-moving Schengen zone.
Border guards were this week seen locking off crossings between Spain and France, Portugal and Spain, and Switzerland and France.
At least seven countries – including Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland – have now told the EU they have reintroduced ID checks inside Europe’s passport-free Schengen Area.
The EU also announced last night it was closing its borders to almost everyone coming from outside the bloc for 30 days.
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The 27 member states agreed to impose bans on tourism and non-essential business “immediately”.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said there would be “very, very limited exceptions”.
The plan exempts long-term EU residents, diplomats, and some healthcare and transport workers.
Merkel said citizens of Britain, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Norway are also exempt.
EU SHUTS DOORS
The EU leaders also agreed to coordinate the repatriation of EU citizens stranded outside the bloc, she said.
In Italy, infections jumped to 31,506 on Tuesday. With 2,503 deaths, Italy accounts for a third of the global death toll.
Spain, the fourth-most infected country, saw its cases rise by more than 2,000 in one day, and the number now stands at 13,716.
Deaths from COVID-19 jumped to 491, a toll that included 17 elderly residents of a Madrid nursing home who died over five days.
Among them was the 86-year-old diabetic grandmother of Ainhoa Ruiz.
Ruiz said: “We feel totally helpless and devastated because my grandma spent her last week only with her husband and caretakers but no other relatives.”