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Europe Union reopens borders as Covid-19 infections decreases

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Early March this year, the Coronavirus outbreak in Europe forced the European Commission to recommend the Member States to shut down all EU ports of entry for non-EU/Schengen nationals. Even as it difficult as it seems, one by one, all Member States, and the Schengen Associated countries moved on to close their borders despite that some of them tried to resist from undertaking such a measure at the beginning.

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First came the re-establishment of border controls where there typically aren’t due to the Schengen Agreement, and then border closures for all non-residents, exempting only those in need of entering the country for essential purposes.

As the number of infection rates among the bloc saw a decrease in April and then in May, the EU started working towards the reopening of the borders and the removal of border controls.
As it was earlier reported that EU Commission will decide on June 15 whether the closure of the external Schengen Area borders should end or be extended, for third-country nationals, it is up to the Member States to open their borders.

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As caseloads have declined in recent weeks across many parts of Europe, governments have been keen to ease painful lockdowns that have saved lives but devastated economies and wearied confined populations. Belgium, France, Germany, Greece and Ukraine were among those lifting border restrictions on 15th of June, while shops and outdoor attractions in England were set to welcome their first customers since March and in Paris cafes and restaurants were allowed to fully reopen.

Most of these countries that reopened announced they would be opening their borders for travelers from the Schengen Area, and the non-Schengen EU states, often only to those with lower rates of infections. While some have imposed quarantine or negative COVID-19 test results, there are others that have permitted entry into their territory without any restrictions.