European Union always had a strong policy of taking an open approach when it comes to borders in the region. However, in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic, all that is changing. Today, EU announced to limit movement between borders within the EU, with the restrictions initially covering 30 days.
Also Russia, which shares a border with various countries in the EU, also announced its own border closure.
We have already had a number of border closures within the EU and the wider region — in keeping with the global response to movement, and specifically in response to outbreaks that started earlier such as Italy whivh had travel restrictions in place for weeks. The aim is to bring about a more coordinated approach across the region.
The EU president Ursula von der Leyen stated, “Our measures to contain the Coronavirus outbreak will be effective only if we coordinate on the European level”. She added that the travel ban does not extend to everyone: emergency medical professionals and other essential goods and services will continue to move across borders, as will citizens of the respective countries coming home, and those making their way home through a country. “We have to take exceptional measures to protect the health of our citizens. But let’s make sure goods and essential services continue to flow in our internal market. This is the only way to prevent shortages of medical equipment or food. It’s not only an economic issue: our single market is a key instrument of European solidarity. I am in discussion with all Member States so that we confront this challenge together, as a Union.”
Russia, meanwhile, had closed off borders with specific countries such as Iran which has been one of the worst-hit countries globally and Poland, and now it is closing off its border to all international travel until the beginning of May (for now), with the exception of Russian nationals, airline professionals, diplomats and a few other specific categories.
Also U.K. yesterday announced more restrictions on travel. The U.K. is not included in the EU measures, given its exit from the European Union; but it has followed suit regardless on its own steam and via its own policies.
Source: Techcrunch News