Slovakia opposes the mass opening of the EU external border for citizens of countries outside the EU and wants the border regime to be loosened depending on the development of the coronavirus pandemic in the individual countries outside the Schengen Area, said Sovak Foreign Minister Ivan Korčok.
Slovakia calls for a relaxation of the border regime depending on the development of the COVID-19 pandemic in individual countries outside the Schengen area, said Ivan Korčok. The gradual opening of the EU’s external borders could start in July.
“Let’s be responsible. Let’s be sane. We do not know if there is a second wave of the coronavirus,” said Korčok. He added that some of the EU member states dependent on tourism demand faster opening of borders for citizens from countries outside the European bloc.
Korčok also stated that for Slovakia, the priority is to open the borders within the Schengen Area. According to Slovak Foreign Minister, the opening up to third countries should be gradual and with the possibility of renewing the stricter border regime.
“It would be irresponsible to open borders all at once. It must be a controlled opening. We will look at each country separately, depending on the development in it. The protection of the health of our citizens is in the first place,“ said the Slovak Minister of Foreign Affairs. He reminded that after crossing the Schengen border, a foreigner can move freely within the bloc.
Slovakia had gradually lifted travel restrictions to about two dozen countries, including the Czech Republic. The relaxation of the border regime does not include Ukraine as the common Slovak-Ukrainian border is also the external border of the EU and the Schengen Area.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Slovakia, with a population of 5.5 million, has seen only a low number of infections compared to many other European countries. The tests revealed a total of 1,589 infected people, the vast majority of whom had already recovered and 28 patients with coronavirus had died.