EU member states urged to start lifting travel restrictions

All European Union member states were urged by the European Commission today, to start easing COVID-19 travel restrictions and re-open borders to visitors from ‘safe countries’.

The EC wants travel restrictions on EU common borders lifted next week, and Europe’s ID check-free travel area to be up and running again by the end of June. Once that has happened, a ban on nonessential travel to the continent can also gradually be eased.

The European Union executive says the list of countries with access should be based on three criteria: countries should have COVID-19 under at least as much control as the EU average, have containment measures during travel and also be willing to let in EU visitors.

EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson said decisions on borders were for individual countries to take but she hoped Brussels could help ensure a coordinated approach.

The Commission proposed allowing entry from the outset for travelers from the western Balkans countries of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia.