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Germany closing borders with France, Austria, Switzerland

Germany will close its borders with France, Austria and Switzerland from Monday morning due to the coronavirus crisis, a government source tells AFP, confirming a report in German media.

The popular tabloid Bild had reported that the closures would take effect at 8 a.m. (0700 GMT) on Monday, and had claimed that goods and cross-border commuters would be exempt.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and Interior Minister Horst Seehofer met with state premiers from affected German regions on Sunday to agree the closures, the newspaper claimed.

The politicians aimed not only to slow the spread of the coronavirus, but also to curtail cross-border panic-buying, the report added.

Seehofer is set to hold a press conference on the decision later Sunday.

Italy on Sunday recorded 368 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, its highest one-day increase to date, taking the total to 1,809, the most outside China, official data shows.

The number of infections in the Mediterranean country has reached 24,747, a count released to the media by Italy’s civil protection service says.