EU likely to limit travel from outside Europe to July

The EU is not expected to open its borders to travellers from the rest of the world before July, officials said Friday after a meeting of the bloc’s interior ministers.

The 27-member EU closed its frontiers to non-essential travel from Asia, the Americas and elsewhere in the world as part of efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The ban currently expires on June 15, but Ylva Johansson, the EU’s home affairs commissioner, said there was a “strong preference” among the ministers to extend it.

Restrictions are also still in place between some EU member states, but they are slowly being lifted and the commission hopes this process will be completed soon.

“That means that internal border controls are lifted by the end of June… we should consider the gradual lifting restrictions on non-essential travel to the EU early July,” Johansson told reporters.

While interior ministers have agreed to coordinate their moves, decisions about lifting border restrictions fall to national governments, rather than Brussels. – AFP

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