Three new countries in Europe reported their first coronavirus cases on Tuesday all from Italy. Italy has in recent days become Europe’s worst-affected country, with more than 300 cases and 11 deaths.
A man in Croatia who recently returned from Italy became the first confirmed patient in the Balkans. Switzerland, Austria, and Romania also reported their first cases, all in people who had been to Italy.
But its neighbours have decided closing borders would be “disproportionate”.
Health ministers from France, Germany, Italy and the EU Commission committed to keeping frontiers open at a meeting on Tuesday as new cases of the virus emerged throughout Europe and in central and southern Italy.
“We’re talking about a virus that doesn’t respect borders,” said Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza.