Schengen Area Borders Might Remain Closed Until Summer

According to European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services Thierry Breton, the external borders of the Schengen Area will probably remain shut until summer. This issue is still being discussed, while revealing that there will be additional constraints to respect and pointing out that the battle against the Coronavirus has not been won yet.

President of France, Emmanuel Macron pointed out that the virus is spreading at different rates around the world with the US still not at its peak. Opening airports to allow non-essential travel over the summer could result in travelers bringing a second wave of the virus to Europe.

The Commissioner said that this would depend on the health situation, asserting that border closure and controls lifting needs to be done through coordinated actions of Member States.

He also emphasized that tourism is one of the hardest-hit sectors in the current health crisis in Europe, announcing that a special summit in September or October could be organized to deal with the fallout of the pandemic.

July and August are usually two of the busiest months in the travel calendar. However, European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen has cautioned that nobody can make reliable forecasts as to whether borders will reopen by then and has urged people not to make summer holiday plans in Europe as the coronavirus pandemic continues to grip the Continent.

The initial lockdown in Europe began on the 17th of March. 30 members of the EU and the Schengen area entered lockdown at the same time; a lockdown that was due to end this week. However, the EU has now asked its members to extend the current state of lockdown until May and is considering further restrictions, as suggested by Macron.

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