Opening borders: too soon or just in time for summer?

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Author: Mike Schapendonk
May 29, 2020

Writing a new article today in the sun, my feet in a little swimming pool and slathered with sunscreen. All I can ask for is doing this at one of my favourite holiday destinations. This seems to be possible in a few weeks in most European countries. A lot of countries are opening their borders for tourism, but is this the smart thing to do or is it too early?

In the Netherlands, the borders closed on the 19th of March, which means that you can only travel in and out of the Netherlands for certain reasons. Some categories are excluded, like truck drivers, diplomats and medical personnel. The Netherlands extended their entry ban for people outside the EU till the 15th of June. This is the second time it has been extended.

Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia already opened borders for each other's citizens. It was the first so-called "travel bubble" within the European Union since countries took far-reaching measures to contain the Coronavirus. Residents can now travel freely in the three sparsely populated Baltic countries. Slovenia even stated that the Corona crisis is over and opened their borders on the 31st of May. The government decided to allow all tourists to travel to Slovenia. You can only be refused if you have severe Corona related health complaints or if you do not have a place to stay. The obligatory 1.5 metres distance between people persists. 

Some countries, like Austria, will also open their borders, but have strict policies with countries that have been hit hard, countries like Italy and Spain. Italy and Spain, both one of the countries with the most Corona patients, will open their borders soon as well. Italy will open them on the 3rd of June and Spain on the 1st of July. In Spain, you have to go in self-quarantine for two weeks before you can go out when and where you want, but in Italy, this is not necessary.

In my opinion, some countries, especially the countries who have been hit hard by the Coronavirus, have to be a little more careful. Opening your borders should be possible, but self-quarantine will reduce the risks of spreading the virus. It is logical that countries want to open their borders again, but with the chance of a second wave, it can be very dangerous. 

Travelling during Corona times thus seems possible this summer but whether this is a smart decision? Only time will tell. If you want to travel during this Corona summer, keep in mind the regulations, and keep your distance, wash your hands, and read our articles!

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