EU member states have agreed to a temporary ban on entry into the Schengen area due to the situation with the spread of coronavirus on March 17 for a period of 30 days, but the European Commission proposes to extend it.
The European Commission called on the Schengen countries to extend until May 15 restrictions on entry into the European Union for non-essential reasons. This was stated in a statement published on the website of the European Commission on April 8.
The experience of countries in combating the coronavirus pandemic shows that measures to prevent the spread of the virus become effective when they are in effect for more than 30 days, the press release said.
The Commission called on states to coordinate the extension of travel restrictions, “since measures at external borders can only be effective if they are applied by all EU countries and the Schengen area at all borders, at the same time and equally.”
Margaritis Skinas, European Commissioner for the Protection of the European Lifestyle, recalled that inAll EU Member States have successfully implemented social distance measures to slow the spread of coronavirus.
“Restrictions on non-essential trips from third countries to the EU complement these measures at the external borders of the EU. Although we see the first encouraging results, travel restrictions need to be extended to reduce the risk of further spread of the disease. We should not open the door while we work to ensure the safety of our houses, “he said.
Restrictions should apply to 30 countries from the so-called EU + zone: all members Schengen area as well Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania, which so far have not joined it.
The European Commission on March 16 proposed to ban entry of foreigners into the EU for 30 days. The EU Heads of State supported this initiative on March 17. The ban does not apply to EU citizens, members of their families, foreigners who permanently reside in the EU, diplomats who return home. In practice, as Reuters notes, some countries interpreted this decision in their own way, which sometimes led to the formation of long lines at their borders.
An outbreak of COVID-19 coronavirus infection began in China in December 2019. March 11, the World Health Organization announced the spread of coronavirus pandemic.
According to the American Johns Hopkins University, the total number of infected people in the world exceeded 1.48 million, of which more than 330 thousand were cured, and 88 567 died. In Europe, the largest number of infections are registered in Spain, Italy, Germany, France and the UK.