BRUSSELS: The European Commission on Friday proposed extending restrictions on travel to the EU until June 15.
EU countries in mid-March adopted restrictions on non-EU nationals entering bloc territory in order to contain the spread of Covid-19, and extended the ban in April.
Now the European Commission is suggesting keeping the external border closed for another month “as the situation remains fragile both in Europe and worldwide.”
The EU is planning on lifting containment measures gradually. According to the European Commission roadmap, first national lockdown measures should be completely lifted to transition to normal life.
After reauthorising travel within countries, EU members are supposed to allow the travel of other EU citizens.
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The opening of external borders for non-EU citizens will be the last stage of the procedure should they manage to avoid a second outbreak.
Currently, only healthcare workers and researchers from non-EU countries can travel to the EU.
Based on the European Commission proposal, it is the member states who need to decide on the extension of travel restrictions.
The move requires coordination between 30 countries, including four EU countries who have yet to join the Schengen area (Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, and Greek Cypriot administration), and four non-EU members of the borderless zone (Norway, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, and Iceland).