Here are the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis:


In France, people can only carry out essential travel from midday Tuesday and for at least the next 15 days.

German citizens are told to "stay at home", while Britons have to avoid "non-essential contact" and travel.

In Russia schools will be closed from March 21. Ukraine is closing its public places.

Borders closed

The outer borders of the 27-nation European Union and its Schengen passport free zone are closed for 30 days.

Elsewhere, Canada closes its frontiers to foreigners except for Americans and Chile and Colombia close all their land, maritime and air crossings.

State of emergency

Switzerland, Armenia and Kazakhstan declare states of emergency.

Israel takes an emergency measure mandating its internal security agency to collect information about citizens to fight the spread of the coronavirus.

The Italian government says it will nationalise struggling airline Alitalia.

France, which expects growth to shrink by one percent in 2020, announces 45-million-euros in aid for businesses, and does not rule out nationalisations.

Factories closed

French car makers Renault and PSA as well as tyre maker Michelin temporarily close down their factories.

German car maker Volkswagen will close most of its factories in Europe for two to three weeks. European plane maker Airbus suspends production for four days in France and Spain. 

Global toll tops 7,400

Since the virus first emerged in late December, 7,408 people have died around the world, according to an AFP tally based on official sources.

The worst affected countries are mainland China, with 3,226 deaths, out of 80,881 cases, of whom 68,869 have been cured. Italy follows with 2,158 deaths, 27,980 cases, Iran 988 deaths, 16,969 cases, Spain 491 deaths and 11,178 cases and France with 148 deaths and 6,633 cases.

Lourdes closed

The shrine at Lourdes in southwestern France, visited by millions of Catholic pilgrims from around the world, closes its doors for the first time in its history.

Elections postponed

The second round of French municipal elections set for March 22 are postponed, while the US state of Ohio delays at the last minute the Democratic primary.

Government in quarantine

The Polish government is placed in quarantine a day after the environment minister tested positive and pending the results of tests on other members of the governing team.

Transport disrupted 

Britain grounds most of its air fleet.

German airline Lufthansa says it will slash up to 90% of its long-haul capacity as does Australia's Qantas, which also reduces its domestic links.

Austrian company Austrian Airlines suspends all its regular flights.

Egypt closes its airports from Thursday while Algeria suspends all air links with European countries.

In Ukraine, from Wednesday metro and inter-regional transport and interurban car, train and plane travel will be halted.

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