London — The week started with coronavirus prompting Saudi Arabia and Russia to tear up the rule book on oil exports to start a savage price war. On Wednesday night US President Donald Trump went even further in announcing a ban on transatlantic travel from mainland Europe for non-Americans. While the ban is initially intended to last a month, the knock-on effects on a world already increasingly obsessed by borders and restrictions on trade and movement will last much longer.

Trump was not the only world leader to use the virus to isolate his country from the world in a way unthinkable as late as last week. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Israel was introducing a 14-day quarantine for all new arrivals within its borders, including Israelis. Foreigners unable to quarantine themselves will simply be turned away. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also introduced some of the most draconian restrictions on foreign arrivals of any other country, cancelling swathes of v...

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