Baltic states re-open borders

As of midnight Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia opened their borders to each other, creating the first “travel bubble” within the EU in a bid to jump-start economies broken down by the coronavirus pandemic, news wires reported. Citizens and residents of the three Baltic nations are now free to travel within the region, though anyone entering from outside will need to self-isolate for 14 days.

“The Baltic Travel Bubble is an opportunity for businesses to reopen, and a glimmer of hope for the people that life is getting back to normal,” Lithuanian PM Saulius Skvernelis said in a statement.

Meanwhile border guards removed all signs directing vehicles to stop at the border and huddled together at the roadside for cake and coffee. “We have the little celebration because the border is now open again,” officer Martin Maestule told Reuters on Friday just after midnight as the first cars sped through on the reopened main road of the region.

According to Marius Laurinavicus, senior analyst at the Vilnius Institute of Policy Analysis in Lithuania, says the situation in the Baltic countries is better than in other parts of Europe. “Our situation in Lithuania, even more so in Latvia, is much better than even in the Nordic countries. But he stressed the Baltic states were still mindful of the potential risks.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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