Commission recommends reopening internal and external borders next week on 1 July | Coronavirus


After three months in which the European Union remained closed on itself and the rest of the world, internal borders could reopen as early as next Monday, and non-essential travel to and from third countries could resume in early July.

These are the dates pointed out by the European Commission, which this Thursday put forward a recommendation to the 30 States that integrate the Schengen Area and the 4 associated countries for the coordinated and gradual lifting of the restrictions on internal circulation and the restrictions on entry into European territory imposed in mid-March to halt the spread of the new coronavirus.

Thus, according to the proposal of the community executive, internal movements may return to normal next Monday, the 15th of June, with the lifting of obstacles still existing at the borders and the resumption of the free movement of people and goods. This step has already been taken by several EU member states that have reopened the passage to neighboring countries, and planned and announced by others – the case of Portugal and Spain, which should eliminate border controls on 1 July.

With regard to third countries, the Commission is more cautious. Although it recommends that restrictions on travel considered non-essential be lifted as of 1 July, the proposal foresees that limitations on contacts with certain countries remain, “where the health situation is still critical”.

“After removing internal barriers, we propose a gradual and flexible approach to lifting restrictions on travel to the European Union from 1 July. International travel is essential for the tourism sector and for business, and also for families and friends to be able to get together again, ”said European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson.

At the moment, the proposal is that only the links with countries where the evolution of the new coronavirus pandemic be similar to that of the European Union be resumed – the Commissioner defended, for example, the opening to the six countries of the Western Balkans that are candidates for accession, where “the epidemiological situation is equivalent or even better” than in the EU.

Brussels suggests that the 27 member states coordinate and establish a uniform list of countries still covered by restrictions – a decision made based on objective criteria such as the evolution of the pandemic, the measures to contain each territory and reciprocity.

However, the Commission suggests an extension of authorized non-essential travel to and from these countries, allowing for example the entry of passengers as international students.

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