The European Commission proposes to extend the application of restrictions on non-essential travel to the EU until 30 June (e.g. from the United States, China or Russia), which would expire on 15 June. And to remove restrictions within the Schengen area from 15 June. In the meantime, the Commission and the Member States will work to prepare a list of third countries for which travel restrictions can be removed from 1st July, a list that will be updated regularly following certain criteria: first of all the epidemiological one, the ability to apply measures containment during the trip, and assessments regarding reciprocity. This is a recommendation because Member States have decision-making autonomy on borders and health. In fact, on Wednesday Germany has advised against non-essential trips outside Europe until the end of August. And Madrid and Lisbon in the morning have announced that they will maintain their border controls between Spain and Portugal until 30 June.
The Commission also recommends removing travel restrictions, starting from July 1, for Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia: The epidemiological situation is similar or better than that of the EU countries and we have a special report with these countries, Commissioner for Internal Affairs Ylva Johansson explained at the press conference. Before the opening of the external borders, all internal ones must be opened. The Brussels recommendation to reopen internal borders on Monday, for some Member States, it may take another week or two more weeks – Johansson explained -, but most importantly that all internal borders are open before opening the borders to third countries.
The Commission recommends that decisions are taken in a coordinated way and that they are applied uniformly throughout the Union. Moreover, a request for coordination by the Member States also emerged from the Home Affairs Council last Friday, as Johansson recalled. For the countries to which the restrictions remain in force, the executive proposes to expand the permitted categories of travelers, including, for example, international students and highly qualified workers, if they perform an essential job or that cannot be postponed.