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Baltic nations open pandemic ‘travel bubble’

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London, May 15 (IANS) The Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have opened their borders to one another, creating a coronavirus “travel bubble”, it was reported on Friday.

From midnight on Thursday, citizens and residents can move freely between the three European Union (EU) nations, the BBC reported.

Under the new rules, anyone who has not travelled outside the Baltic states in the past two weeks, was not infected, and has not been in contact with somebody who has tested positive may travel freely to the other nations.

Anybody arriving from outside the zone however must self-isolate for 14 days.

In a statement, Lithuania’s Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis called the move “an opportunity for businesses to reopen, and a glimmer of hope for the people that life is getting back to normal”.

This is the first “travel bubble” in Europe since nations began shutting their borders earlier this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The sparsely populated Baltic states have not been as badly affected by the pandemic as some of their European neighbours, said the BBC report.

There are fewer than 150 recorded deaths between the three nations, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.



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