Europe Proposes Extending Travel Ban Until June 15

The European Commission has requested another 30-day extension of the restriction on non-essential travel into the European Union.

Europe Proposes Extending Travel Ban Until June 15

Portugal began scaling back its lockdown measures at the end of April.

Photo by Rrrainbow/Shutterstock

This is a developing story. For up-to-date information on traveling during the coronavirus outbreak, visit the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

The European Commission on Friday recommended another 30-day extension of the ban on non-essential travel into the European Union, which would leave it in place until June 15, 2020.

While some European countries are taking the initial steps toward easing the lockdown orders that were established to help slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic on the continent, “the situation remains fragile both in Europe and worldwide,” the European Commission stated.

If the leaders of Europe decide to enact the extension, it will be the second time the ban on the majority foreigners entering Europe will have been extended to limit the spread of the coronavirus, or COVID-19. The initial 30-day ban was put into place on March 17, and one month later it was extended until May 15. The ban exempts long-term EU residents, diplomats, and some health-care and transport workers.

In its most recent recommendation, the European Commission stated that internal border controls will need to be lifted gradually and in a coordinated effort before restrictions at the external borders can be relaxed. The body also stated that action at the external borders “can only be effective if implemented by all EU and Schengen member countries at all borders, with the same end date and in a uniform manner.”

The current travel restriction applies to what is known as the “EU+ area”: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

The European Commission said it would evaluate its recommendations for any further extension based on how the pandemic evolves.

>> Next: What Life Looks Like in Countries Coming Out of Lockdown

Michelle Baran is a deputy editor at AFAR where she oversees breaking news, travel intel, airline, cruise, and consumer travel news. Baran joined AFAR in August 2018 after an 11-year run as a senior editor and reporter at leading travel industry newspaper Travel Weekly.
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