EU set to ban Mexico flights

EU health ministers are expected to ban flights to Mexico in the wake of the swine flu outbreak at their emergency meeting today.

Germany has become the fourth EU country to confirm cases of the flu, with three people affected.

Britain has confirmed five cases, Spain 10 — including one person who had not been in Mexico — and one in Austria.

About 10 other EU countries are investigating suspected outbreaks of the flu.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said Europeans should avoid travelling to Mexico unless absolutely necessary and unavoidable.

Health ministers, including Mary Harney, who are meeting in Luxembourg, will discuss their recommendation and France has said it will ask for flights to the country most affected by the virus to be banned.

French Health Minister Roselyne Bachelot said travel to Mexico should be stopped to protect travellers, but flights from Mexico should continue to allow people to return home.

All those on such flights will also be tested on arrival.

A ban was discussed by EU transport ministers yesterday during their informal meeting in Prague, officials said. No decision was taken.


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