Brussels asks to extend until May 15 the temporary closure of the EU’s external border

The European Commission has proposed this Wednesday to extend until at least May 15 the temporary closure of the external border of the European Union that the countries of the Schengen area agreed to try to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

This would extend the temporary suspension of entry to the EU coordinated by the member states on March 17, which limited the entry to the common space to «strictly necessary» trips for one month.

Since these restrictions were imposed, passenger air traffic to the EU has been reduced «to practically zero» and there are hardly any flights for the transport of goods and to repatriate Europeans blocked in third countries by the containment measures.

The evaluation of the epidemiological situation carried out by the European Commission shows a continuous increase in the number of new cases and in the number of deaths due to the new Covid-19 in the European Union, while the progression of the pandemic also continues.

That is why the Community Executive considers it necessary to extend the restrictions on movements from third countries. «We should not open the front door yet as long as we continue to safeguard our home,» Margaritis Schinas, vice president of the European Commission responsible for migration, said in a statement.

Border management is a matter of exclusive competence of the Member States, so the closure of the common external border depends on the coordination of national decisions of the governments involved.

Although the EU countries and their partners in the Schengen area agreed to the closure of the external border, the same coordination has not been reflected within the common space.

A total of 13 EU countries, including Spain, and two more partners in the Schengen area also keep their internal borders closed, despite the fact that Brussels did not support this measure to deal with the pandemic.