Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia Created a "Baltic Travel Bubble": Here's What It Means

Baltic Travel Bubble

Travel bubbles, also called travel bridges or coronavirus corridors, include a set of countries which agree to open their borders to each other, but keep borders to all other countries closed. So people can move freely within the bubble, but are not allowed to enter from the outside.

The Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania created what they are calling a "Baltic travel bubble," allowing one another's citizens to travel among the three states without having to self-isolate on arrival. It’s a move that Lithuania's Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis called "a glimmer of hope for the people that life is getting back to normal" in a statement, reported by the BBC. While citizens and residents can move freely between the three nations, anyone arriving from outside the zone will have to continue to self-isolate for 14 days.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius told NBC News the "bubble" is important for the country's tourism sector, which makes up five percent of its gross domestic product, or GDP, and is the first of its kind in the European Union."

Arnoldas Pranckevicius, the European Commission representative in Lithuania, tweeted that the commission's guidelines "encourage Member States enjoying a similar epidemiological situation to gradually open internal borders, in a coordinated and non-discriminatory way".

Both Finland and Poland have also been approached to join the Baltic travel bubble. Estonia and Finland have eased travel for business and education already, as have Poland and Lithuania.

As summer season approaches, many countries are trying to figure out how to revive the travel industry. Greece has recently announced it expects to open its borders by July, Iceland said it will start welcoming tourists on June 15, Aruba expects to open by July.

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