The European Union will be open to nationals of some third-countries from 1 July 2020, according to the EU College of Commissioners. This will be the first time in nearly four months that foreign non-EU nationals will be allowed to enter.
Border openings come as an attempt to restart the European tourism industry as well as generally starting to get things back to normal within Europe.
A detailed plan is planned to surface later this week when Brussels releases the actual road map for opening external borders.
The EU will likely only permit the entry of some third-country nationals at first, specifically ones from countries classified as having a low risk of COVID-19 infection. This could mean that the EU may still not let in certain nationalities such as the US yet, due to its high-risk COVID-19 environment at the moment.
The reopening of external borders will also likely be a gradual process, according to Vice President of the European Commission Josep Borrell. However, the opening will still be set to take place on 1 July.
“The lifting of temporary travel restrictions at external borders will come at a second stage. In this respect, later this week, the College will adopt its assessment of travel restrictions and will put forward an approach for the gradual and partial lifting of these restrictions as of the 1st of July, with certain third countries, taking into account a number of principles and criteria, and based on a common coordinated approach by Member States, supported by the Commission,” said Borrell.
Borrell mentions that the lifting of travel restrictions at external borders will be the second stage of their plan. The first stage is the opening of internal borders across the EU and Schengen Area.
Confusion is high among Europeans and holiday travelers alike as there was not a unilateral approach to closing borders in the first place. This is inevitable in some cases as the infection rates and risks vary from country to country, and each country has been given freedom over how to deal with COVID-19.
As there was not a unified approach to closing borders there also has not been a unified approach to opening borders, which can cause more confusion among potential travellers. Following are some of the individual border re-openings happening across Europe:
- Germany and Switzerland are opening their borders to all travelers from the EU and Schengen from 15 June. However, they will be maintaining border controls with Italy.
- Austria will reopen their land border with Italy from 16 June and end quarantine requirements for most European countries the same day.
- France will be opening their borders to all Europeans from 15 June.
- Italy has been open to all Europeans since 3 June.
- Spain is opening to foreigners in July.
- Greece will be open to all tourists of most nationalities from 15 June. However, some might face quarantine procedures until 1 July when the controls are set to end.
- Hungary has opened their borders to all Europeans since 9 June, though some may still have to undergo quarantine procedures.