EU wants to keep outer borders closed until 15 May
The European Commission wants to keep the outer borders of the European Union closed until May 15th. The measure is intended to prevent the further spreading of the coronavirus.
“The experience of the member states and other countries exposed to the pandemic shows that the measures against the virus should be valid for at least 30 days to be effective,” the Commission says in a press release.
On March 17th, the European leaders of the governments had approved the suspension of all ‘non-essential journeys to the European Union’ for an initial period of 30 days. It’s a national measure, valid in 26 European member states and Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein. Now, the measure is proposed to be prolonged until May 15th for all member states and the Schengen Area.
There are some exceptions, however, for people with a long-term residence permit, family members of EU citizens, diplomats, medical staff, and transporters of goods. The measure does not count for British citizens either.
The Commission justifies the necessity of keeping the borders closed because of the increasingly rising number of new cases of contamination and deaths. Since the introduction of the measure mid-March, passenger flights have been reduced to almost zero. The remaining flights are only used for repatriation or to transport goods.
The European Commissioner of Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, has emphasized that the coordination between member states is also essential at the inner borders. The latter “to guarantee that our home markets continue to function as usual, and to make sure that elementary goods like food, medicines, and protective material can reach their destination without any delay.