The European Commission has called on member states to lift all border restrictions by the end of June.
The request comes amid a “fast improving” Covid-19 situation in many countries, home affairs commissioner Ylva Johansson said.
“We are coming very close to a situation where we should lift all the internal border restrictions and border checks,” she explained.
EU home affairs ministers will discuss the response to the Covid-19 pandemic in the field of internal border controls and the free movement of persons today, with further announcements to follow.
Johansson said she was “very happy” to see EU nations beginning to end border checks and open up the EU and Schengen passport-free area again as spread of Covid-19 was stemmed.
Making my opening statement at the #JHA Justice & Home Affairs @EUCouncil today.
Main item is to discuss lifting of #EU internal border controls as soon as possible, preferably by end of June.@EU2020HR @DavorBozinovic #UnitedAgainstCoronavirus pic.twitter.com/mHh7Nent3e
— Ylva Johansson (@YlvaJohansson) June 5, 2020
As the summer tourist season approaches, several nations, including France and Belgium, have announced the reopening of their borders, with more European nations, including Germany, set to follow suit on June 15th.
Italy did so earlier this week.
Johansson said the epidemiological situation was fast improving in many member states and that citizens were adopting social distancing measures as “a new normal” to fight the spread of the virus.
However, decisions to reopen will be taken at a national level, likely leading to some resistance.
Image: Zheng Huansong/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images