BRUSSELS

As coronavirus seems to be on the wane, the EU may reopen its external borders as of early July, the bloc’s commissioner for home affairs announced on Friday.

Next week the European Commission will propose detailed guidelines on lifting restrictions for the entry of non-EU citizens, Ylva Johansson told reporters after a videoconference of EU interior ministers.

As Johansson explained, most of the ministers support extending by two more weeks the current travel ban, set to end on June 15.

Many were also interested in coordinating the lifting of measures on July 1, she added.

After further consultations, the EU’s executive body will propose a new plan for member states that needs to be accepted by all before June 15.

The reopening should be proportionate and non-discriminatory, Terezija Gras, Croatia’s interior minister, added on behalf of the rotating European Union Council presidency,

The member states’ decision on ending border controls between EU countries is a precondition for allowing travel from outside the bloc.

Most EU countries will have the restrictions lifted by June 15, while others will follow by the end of the month, Gras added.

In addition, the final decision will also depend on the epidemiological situation.

EU countries adopted restrictions in mid-March on non-EU nationals’ entering the bloc in order to contain the spread of COVID-19 and later extended them twice.

Currently, only healthcare workers and researchers from non-EU countries can travel to the EU.

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