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Stock markets open to losses amid coronavirus concerns

Credit: Belga

Stock markets were down overall on Friday amid concerns over new coronavirus strains and their consequences on the markets.

Airlines and players in the tourism sector, specifically, have suffered losses as fears arise that non-essential travel will be reduced.

Air France-KLM’s share lost 4% an hour after the stock market opened, while Lufthansa suffered a loss of 2.64%. Meanwhile, tourist group TUI lost as much as 9% in Frankfurt, and hotel chain Accor lost 3%.

The drops follow reports that European leaders on Thursday did not oppose plans by countries including Belgium to introduce a temporary and targeted ban on non-essential travel. Belgium could discuss such a ban at today’s Consultative Committee meeting.

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The European Commission will present new proposals for travel restrictions on Monday to encourage Member States to coordinate their approach.

There is also talk of adding a new “dark red” category to the European coronavirus map. Travellers from areas where the virus circulates heavily should test negative for coronavirus before departure and quarantine after arrival. Measures would also be strengthened for travellers from third countries.

The Brussels Times