How far should Europe go to protect itself from swine flu?
While passengers continue to return from Mexico, France will today call for an EU-wide ban on all flights to the stricken country. The proposition will be discussed by the bloc’s health ministers. But, with precautions already being taken at a national level, officials in Brussels say the European Commission can’t impose an across-the-board ban. European Transport Commissioner Antonio Tajani stressed the need to remain calm. “We have to be attentive. We have to defend citizens’ interests,” he told reporters after a transport ministers meeting in the Czech town of Litomerice. “We must not risk panic across the world because of the flu.” The EU, the United States and Canada have already advised against non-essential travel to Mexico. And airline workers, it seems, are also weighing up the risks with reports that some Air France flight crew have refused to board Mexico-bound planes.