Coronavirus: Baltic Countries Have Opened A Pandemic “Travel Bubble”

May 15, 2020

The Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania opened their borders to each other, creating a coronavirus “travel bubble”.

Starting at midnight on Thursday, citizens and residents can move freely between the three EU countries.

However, anyone arriving from outside the area must isolate themselves for 14 days.

This is the first “travel bubble” in Europe since countries began to close their borders in response to a coronavirus outbreak earlier this year.

As more and more attention is paid to the economic impact of the blockade, EU officials are now trying to encourage other countries to end restrictions on movement. The Baltic countries expect that their economies will shrink by 8% this year.

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Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said in a statement that the move “provides an opportunity for the enterprise to reopen, and also gives people a ray of hope to bring life back to normal”.

Under the new rules, anyone who has not traveled to the Baltic countries in the past two weeks, has not been infected, and has not been in contact with people who have tested positive can travel freely to other countries.

The sparsely populated Baltic countries are not as severely affected by the pandemic as some European neighbors.

According to data collected by Johns Hopkins University, the number of deaths between these three countries is less than 150. Official national data shows that there are very few new infections, and the three governments have begun to relax the blockade measures taken to curb the spread of the virus.

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The European Commission ’s representative in Lithuania, Arnoldas Pranckevicius, tweeted that the committee ’s guidelines “encourage member states in a similar epidemiological situation to step by step in a coordinated and non-discriminatory manner. Open internal boundaries “.

Both Finland and Poland have been invited to join the Baltic travel bubble. Estonia and Finland and Poland and Lithuania have simplified business and educational travel.

Some other countries have also begun to remove border restrictions related to viruses. Germany has already begun to partially reopen, and said it plans to open all borders on June 15, provided that the number of new cases has not deteriorated.