On Tuesday night EC President Ursula von der Leyen announced an immediate ban on nonessential travel into the "EU+ Area" for non-EU citizens for at least 30 days, to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The EU+ Area includes most EU member states plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Citizens of those countries will be permitted to enter the EU+ Area to return home.
For the moment, citizens of the four Schengen Zone nations that are not EU members - Norway, Switzerland, UK and Andorra - are exempt from the ban. But the EC has asked these nations to participate in the ban also.
Ireland has an opt-out from the Schengen Agreement but could choose to participate.
Non-EU nationals with long-term residency rights in any EU country are exempt, as are persons transporting goods, transport staff, health-care professionsl and researchers, elderly-care professionals, diplomats, military personnel, humanitarian workers, passengers in transit and asylum seekers.
People already inside the external borders of the EU can still move freely between member states.
The bottom line is: entering the EU and Schengen Zone is now impossible for most non-EU citizens without "essential reasons" to travel.
Because the European Commission lacks the power to enforce this ban, it will be asking each national government to introduce and enforce its own restrictions on entry to their country from outside the EU+ Area.
Is this going to work? Stay tuned for updates.