Coronavirus: Governments grapple with lockdowns, border closures as virus spreads

Governments grappled Wednesday with how to implement border closures, travel restrictions and lockdowns that have caused transportation chaos and imperiled economies, but which authorities say are needed to slow the coronavirus pandemic.

European Union leaders agreed to shut down the bloc’s external borders for 30 days, while the U.S. and Canada were working on a mutual ban on nonessential travel between the two countries.

In Southeast Asia, the causeway between Malaysia and the financial hub of Singapore was eerily quiet after Malaysia shut its borders, while the Philippines backed down on an order giving foreigners 72 hours to leave from a large part of its main island.

The administration of President Donald Trump was considering a plan to immediately return to Mexico all people who cross America’s southern border illegally, according to two administration officials who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the plan hasn’t been finalized.

The coronavirus is now present in every U.S. state after West Virginia was the last to report an infection. Hawaii’s governor encouraged travelers to postpone their island vacations for at least the next 30 days, while the governor of Nevada — home to Las Vegas — ordered a monthlong closure of the state’s casinos.

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