"The enemy is the virus, and now we have to do our utmost to protect our people and to protect our economies", she said, as reported by Reuters.
"The outbreak of the crisis was probably underestimated even more so in the USA than in some countries in Europe", Altmaier told Germany's regional press group Funke. "And we have around 9,000 passengers that we have to review", he added.
"To limit the spread of the virus globally, we agreed to reinforce our external borders by applying a coordinated temporary restriction of non-essential travel to the EU for a period of 30 days, based on the approach proposed by the Commission", President of the European Council Charles Michel said.
'No-one hopes that the USA economy would fall into an uncontrolled recession'.
The leaders held an emergency videoconference on Tuesday.
Germany said that it has already begun turning away non-EU citizens who arrived on Wednesday at Frankfurt Airport.
"From what (the member states) have registered, the number we are working with now.is approximately 80,000 outside the European Union", a commission spokesman said yesterday, as he appealed for European Union nationals to contact their consulates to enable better estimates.
Von der Leyen stated that it was now in the hands of the member nations to implement these new restrictions themselves, which many have said they will do immediately.
As the EU must take measures to prevent the spread of the disease, many are worrying about the essence of the European Union and its four freedoms.
Von Der Leyen did not confirm that any member state had committed to lift their internal border restrictions during a press conference on Tuesday. The European Medicines Agency has expressed its preparedness to evaluate vaccines the soonest possible, however it does not see any early trials kicking-off before May. Several EU nations have closed their frontiers or imposed screening controls that slow cross-border freight traffic, despite calls for a single European plan.
After Italy, ground zero in Europe's battle with COVID-19, Spain and now France have imposed lock-downs, confining citizens to their homes except for urgent business like buying food or heading to any hospital that might still have the capacity to treat them.
The Netherlands has taken a looser stance, hoping to build collective immunity.