News

2020.05.18 10:00

As Baltics reopen, thousands cross borders daily

BNS2020.05.18 10:00

Travel across the Lithuanian–Latvian border jumped significantly over the weekend as people made use of free movement within the ‘Baltic bubble’.

“The flows of those leaving and arriving [in Lithuania from Latvia] rose up to 20 times,” Lithuanian Interior Minister Rita Tamašunienė said in a statement.

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania opened their borders to Baltic residents and citizens on Friday, becoming the first free travel 'bubble' within the EU since the start of travel restrictions due to the pandemic.

Data from the State Border Guard Service shows that 3,459 people crossed from Lithuania to Latvia on Friday and 9,724 went on Saturday. Before the travel restrictions were lifted, 506 people on average would make the trip daily.

On Friday, 611 people arrived in Lithuania from Latvia and 5,284 people came on Saturday, a significant increase from the previous daily average of 415.

All four border control checkpoints on the Lithuanian-Latvian border have been opened as of Monday.