Coronavirus lockdown: In a first, three European nations plan ‘Baltic travel bubble’; check details

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Published: May 12, 2020 6:12:45 PM

The region has been part of the European Union since 2004 and since 2007 has been a member of the European Schengen Free Travel Area.

The region has been part of the European Union since 2004 .

Coronavirus lockdown: In a first, the world may see the emergence of ‘a Baltic travel bubble’! In order to counter the reeling tourism sector, three Baltic countries have come up with an improvised idea to boost travel into their countries. The prime ministers of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia have announced that they will open their borders for citizens of their countries starting May 15, as per a report by the news agency Reuters. They have named the process of easing of border restrictions as Baltic ‘travel bubble.’ Simply put, this ‘Baltic travel bubble’ may make it possible for citizens of these three countries to travel within the region without hassles. However, those who are coming from any other than these three countries would be required to follow self-isolation guidelines and stay in quarantine for exactly 14 days.

Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas has announced on his Twitter timeline that the proposed plan is a big step towards life as normal. Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said people of the three countries will be free to travel within the country, but anyone who enters from outside will need to self-isolate for 14 days.

Lithuanian PM Skvernelis has also dropped a hint that Finland and Poland can be the next group of countries to allow movement of citizens. Reportedly, New Zealand and Australia as well are working to open their borders for the movement of their citizens, according to the Reuters report.

The region has been part of the European Union since 2004 and since 2007 has been a member of the European Schengen Free Travel Area. During the epidemic, Estonia and Lithuania closed their borders to non-citizens and all three nations placed mandatory quarantines for those entering for reasons related to non-work activities.

The Baltic nations have shown trust in each other’s healthcare system and have concluded that they have been able to tackle the coronavirus outbreak efficiently. For Asian countries including India, these developments can provide interesting pointers when lockdown relaxations pertaining to travel and flights are being considered.

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