2020.04.30 09:22

Baltic states could reopen borders in mid-May, says Lithuanian foreign minister

BNS 2020.04.30 09:22

The borders between Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania could reopen in mid-May, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius told BNS on Wednesday, following the conversation with his Latvian and Estonian counterparts.

"Preliminary, we could imagine that happening as of May 18, but nothing has definitely been decided yet," Linkevicius said.

The scale of the coronavirus crisis is similar in the Baltic countries, as wel as similar quarantine deadlines, which could help the joint reopening of borders, according to the minister.

Read more: Lithuania lifts more quarantine restrictions: flights to resume, outdoor activities allowed

Quarantine "will last until May 11 in Lithuania, until May 12 in Latvia and until May 17 in Estonia,” said Linkevičius. “I believe we have started very specific coordination work to come out of this situation in the most coordinated way possible.”

However, there are some differences in rules and regulations that should be taken into account.

“Self-isolation for 14 days is mandatory in all three countries. But in Latvia, for example, if Lithuanian or Estonian citizens arrive and they have no virus symptoms, and have had no prior contacts, they can go to work and self-isolate outside their working time,” said Linkevičius.

“There are nuances that are different. We need to take that into account," the minister said.

The Baltic prime ministers will decide on the opening of borders on May 6, Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis told reporters on Wednesday.

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania resumed internal border control in mid-March to slow the spread of the coronavirus.