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12.06.2020 Europe

European Union to open external borders from 1 July

By RFI
REUTERS - Gonzalo Fuentes
LISTEN JUN 12, 2020
REUTERS - Gonzalo Fuentes

The European Commission is to recommend EU member states begin to reopen their external frontiers to travellers from outside the bloc from 1 July, diplomatic chief Josep Borrell has said.

The decision on easing restrictions imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus rests with national capitals, but Borrell said Brussels would suggest "a gradual and partial lifting" of the ban.

EU member states have begun to ease temporary restrictions on non-essential crossing of the borders within the bloc, with a goal of 15 June for restoring free travel.

At the weekend, the interior ministers of the 27 member states agreed to coordinate a gradual reopening to travellers from outside the Schengen area, Britain and the EU.

But Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson says that not all countries agree on the criteria for reopening, with some in more of a hurry than others.

Greece, for example, whose economy depends heavily on tourism, has already announced it will reopen its skies from 15 June to a list of countries, including non-EU states such as Australia, China and South Korea.

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