EU Commission Wants All Internal Borders Open By June 30, 2020

EU Commission has indicated to member states that they would like to see all internal travel restrictions lifted by June 30, 2020.

Home Affairs commissioner will today propose abolishing all internal border checks within Schengen that were introduced when Covid-19 was quickly spreading among member countries.

Note that this doesn’t include opening the blocks outside border for non-citizen/resident arrivals that some countries may already allow.

Here’s an excerpt from the Euronews (access their piece here):

The European Commission is calling on EU member states to lift all border checks within the bloc by the end of June, Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson told Euronews.

National coronavirus lockdowns and travel bans have sowed confusion among travellers, cost the tourism industry billions of euros in revenue and undermined the idea of a united Europe

EU governments are now trying to coordinate how and when to reopen their borders, and member states’ home affairs ministers will be discussing the topic during a meeting on Friday.

“I think we’re coming very close to a situation where we should lift all the internal border restrictions and border checks,” Johansson told Euronews in a TV interview.

Conclusion

Many countries are in the process of opening their borders with neighboring countries or countries with which they have a similar epidemiological situation (read not many new Covid-19 infections or deaths).

This had lead to a very confusing situation within the European Schengen zone that, by default, shouldn’t have any internal border controls in place.

Anyone from EU/EEA has been able to travel to Sweden all this time while Estonia has opened its borders to Finns, but the Finnish government doesn’t endorse foreign travel right now. And then the UK is going to start enforcing a 14-day quarantine requirement for all arrivals this coming Monday (when other countries are loosening theirs).

But if all EU/Schengen countries have the freedom of movement reinstituted, then they should all have the same policy for outside arrivals to the area. Can you welcome travelers from countries with an increasing number of Covid-19 infections? Testing at the border is not the solution.

I was supposed to be back in Europe yesterday or today (had tickets both on JAL and ANA), but decided to extend further my stay in the country (from the initial ten nights back in March) until there is clarity about freedom of movement within the block.

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