BBC News. Hello, I'm Gareth Barlow.
Europe has moved closer to lockdown as three more governments tightened restrictions to fight the corona virus pandemic. France ordered its citizens to stay at home or face fines while Germany has announced the closure of non-essential shops and most leisure facilities. In Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson called on people to stop travel and non-essential social contact. He's urged them to work from home and avoid pubs, clubs, and theaters, but not impose any ban. Meanwhile, the European Commission is proposing closing the external borders of the European Union. Kevin Connolly has the details. With great cities across Europe falling into uneasy stillness as public spaces like shops and bars, restaurants and cinemas shut down, the European Commission is now outlining a plan for the continent. Its proposal is to try to shut down non-essential travel into the EU. There'll be plenty of exemptions for diplomats, doctors and cross-border commuters as well as anyone keeping trade and food supplies flowing. The commission president Ursula von der Leyen made it clear that the EU is seeking to rise to a global challenge.
Euro Zone finance ministers have promised an unlimited commitment to fight the economic fallout of the corona virus pandemic. Each country will decide what measures to take for itself, but the European Commission says more than $130 billion have been pledged to date. In France, President Emmanuel Macron promised sweeping financial support. Here is Hugh Scofield in Paris. President Macron say it, whatever it takes we will pay. And that means a reimbursement for everyone who has to take unemployment, everyone has to stop working because of looking after children, go on temporary sick leave. Any disruption to the economy, any business that finds itself unable to stay afloat because it's not taking in cash will be rescued. But it's a blank cheque, basically. But the bill is going to be absolutely astronomical. And it does mean that looking ahead when you come out the other side of this crisis, the world will not be the same.
The US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has told Senate tepublicans he's seeking a large stimulus package to prop up the economy. Measures outlined by the Federal Reserve on Sunday, including a 1% cut in interest rates, failed to prevent the Dow Jones recording its biggest ever one day points drop. Samir Hussein reports. That massive cut to interest rates and the pumping of $700 billion into the economy. If you look back at the financial crisis, that is stuff that it took them several months to institute, whereas here the Federal Reserve just came out and did this very quickly. So I think markets were really rattled by that because now there's very little left in terms of what kind of monetary policy the Federal Reserve can now implement to help the markets going further. There's been no sustained rally on Asian markets.