21 May, 2020
When will the borders reopen again?
With the Coronavirus situation, many people wonder when will the borders reopen again? That is why we made a little recap about the current situation in France, Spain, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom.
The Spanish government ordered the lockdown of the country on March 15th. This meant that people had to stay at home and could only go out for shopping, medical reasons or to work. Of course, all non-essential businesses had to close down during this time and work from home. The borders have been closed with France and Portugal until further notice. But when will the borders reopen again?
For the time being Spain only allows entry into the country of its nationals, cross-border workers, medical workers who have not had recent contact with coronavirus patients and persons proving a case of compelling reasons. However, the Spanish government has not yet taken a decision on the reopening of the borders.
Indeed, Pedro Sanchez believes that tourism is an essential pillar for the Spanish economy but that health is just as important. José Luis Alberto, the Minister for Tourism, also explained that “as soon as Spaniards can travel to other parts of the country, foreigners will be able to return to Spain”. This means that the borders will be able to reopen during phase 3 of the deconfinement, which should begin at the end of June in Spain.
France began its lockdown on 17 March 2020. As in Spain, French citizens could nevertheless go to their workplace (only if it was necessary), travel for medical reasons, for compelling family reasons, to carry out basic necessities purchases or to practise a sporting activity if it was limited to 1km around their home.
The borders were closed on 17 March as well. Interior Minister Cristophe Castaner said that borders would remain closed until 15 June with countries of the European Union, the Schengen area and the United Kingdom. For non-European countries, Cristophe Castaner did not give any indication, stating only that the borders will be closed until further notice. It should be noted that a mandatory quarantine is required to return to France for persons residing outside the EU.
The Italian government ordered the lockdown of the country on March 9, 2020. By the end of February the government had already quarantined several departments and cities in the north of the country. As in France and Spain, Italians could only travel for medical reasons, grocery shopping and work. They had to provide proof of their travel, under penalty of fines or even imprisonment.
Italy plans to reopen its borders on 3 June for EU and Schengen area nationals only. From this date no quarantine will be required for people travelling to the country. In addition, the country plans to open all its airports. This decision has been taken in order to revive the economy which has been hard hit.
Germany has not taken any containment measures for its population, but only social distancing measures: no gatherings of more than two people, closure of non-essential businesses and the obligation for people coming from abroad to quarantine themselves. Of course, the country has also closed its borders to foreigners since 16 March.
In contrast to other countries, Germany intends to reopen its borders gradually. The country began by opening the border with Luxemburg completely and slightly relaxing border controls with Switzerland and Austria. Moreover, Germany does not intend to open its borders to the French until mid-June if all goes well.
5- United Kingdom:
The United Kingdom initially decided to use mass immunization, a method also used in Sweden and the Netherlands. However, on March 24, the British government ordered a national containment for a minimum of 3 weeks. The lockdown has been extended many times and the borders have also been closed.
Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, said on Monday 11 May that a 14 day quarantine for people arriving from abroad will be mandatory, but he did not specify a date of start. Only French and Irish nationals will be able to escape quarantine.
Finally, some countries have a precise answer as to the reopening of borders, such as Italy or France. However, other countries such as the United Kingdom do not have precise dates. It will therefore take a few weeks before each government can take a decision.
Casamona will keep you informed of every step forward in this difficult situation for everyone. You can find our articles on the pandemic on our news section!