TALLINN – Citing a report by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, according to which stopping cross-border movement does not significantly impede the spread of the coronavirus, Estonian MEP Urmas Paet said that borders should be opened.
Paet said in a press release on Wednesday that restriction of free movement is increasingly detrimental to people and the economy. "It is time for Estonia and other European countries to restore free movement and open their borders," Paet said. "The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, too, affirms that stopping cross-border movement between countries does little to limit the spread of the coronavirus. So, keeping borders closed is pointless. However, other damage is extensive," he added.
"The available evidence does not support the recommendation to close borders, which could lead to significant spill-over effects and social and economic disruptions in the European Union," the MEP said, citing the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.
According to Paet, the European Commission notes that once the infection rate is low enough, borders can be opened. Thus, it is proposed that if there are less than 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in a country over the course of seven days, the country can be considered a safe destination. In Estonia this indicator is six and in Finland nine.
For example, the German government wants to lift travel restrictions regarding 31 European countries by June 15. In addition to the 26 EU member states, these destinations include the United Kingdom, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The abolition of travel warnings issues a signal that travel in Europe is possible again, Paet said.
"Thus, it is time for Estonia to restore free movement in order to stop greater damage to our people and economy," he added.