The Baltic States: Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia opened their borders on 15 May, easing restrictions on movement imposed during quarantine in connection with the coronavirus pandemic.
Citizens of the three countries are free to cross the border again, but those from other countries are required to undergo 14 days of self-isolation.
The leaders of the European Union expressed hope that in the near future other EU countries, where the situation with the epidemic is similar, will also be able to open borders.
Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are small countries with relatively low population densities, which are among the least affected by COVID-19 countries on the continent: according to Johns Hopkins University, there died, respectively, 9, 54 and 62 people infected with coronavirus.
Poland and Finland were also invited to join the Baltic zone.
June 15, according to separate agreements, have open borders between Austria, Germany, Switzerland and France.
The EU is wary of repeated waves of the epidemic, but summer tourism in Europe usually brings about 150 billion euros, and the failure of the tourist season will be another blow to the epidemic-laden economy of European countries.
“Now we are starting to think about summer and beyond, as well as the places we like to go. This means taking gradual, cautious steps towards resuming travel, taking into account the advice of scientists… We need to carefully rediscover Europe’s borders, ”said EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.
Each EU country will decide for itself how and when to lift quarantine restrictions, and in many countries people are now encouraged not to travel abroad.