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Czech Republic, Slovakia and Austria discuss possible “little Schengen” by July

Prague, Czech Republic – The Czech Republic, Slovakia and Austria hope to open their common borders and to create a so-called “little Schengen” travel zone between the three countries by July in a joint effort to revive the tourism sector, highly affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

“If some kind of little Schengen is created, it may be here”, said Martin Klus, the state secretary at the Slovak Foreign Affairs Ministry, in a recent interview with local media.  “I’m optimist that it can happen within two months”, he added.

This may however be dependent on how the rate of infections evolves in the Czech Republic and Austria.

“The sooner other countries are doing as well as we are, the sooner we can open borders”, confirmed Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovič, adding that the rate of infections in the neighbouring countries is currently about ten times higher than in Slovakia.

“We are continuing negotiations with Austrians and Slovaks”, stated the Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs Tomáš Petříček in a blog post.

The Czech Republic and Slovakia were among the first countries in the EU to completely close its borders and are now widely praised for their handling of the crisis. Slovakia has the least per-capita coronavirus-related deaths in Europe.

According to a leaked draft seen by Euractiv, the European commission is expected to recommend a three-phase approach in which European countries will be advised to open borders to countries with similar coronavirus-risk profiles.

Last week, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania decided to open their common borders and to abolish the entry ban for non-essential purposes as of May 15. The decision however came upon an assertation that the level of infections was similar in all three Baltic states.

A similar idea of a travel zone is currently being discussed by Greece, Cyprus and Israel, which are considering setting up a “corona corridor”.

Headed by Kafkadesk's chief-editor Jules Eisenchteter, our Prague office gathers over half a dozen reporters, editors and contributors, as well as our social media team. It covers everything Czech and Slovak-related, and oversees operations from our other Central European desks in Krakow and Budapest.

2 comments on “Czech Republic, Slovakia and Austria discuss possible “little Schengen” by July

  1. Pingback: For the summer you can open each other's borders with Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Austria - StanKaba

  2. As Slovenian citizen, I can only praise that step and would like to add that this is a very good idea and a great message to our country who seems to be isolated right now. You know, Slovenia is not a member of any regional cooperation (V4, Slavkov Triangle, Little Schengen) exept TSI, and is paying a lot because of that. The same is with Croatia. Our direction must be CEE region because we belong there. We expect too much from EU and it’s direction and don’t care about our neigbourhood relations. Again, great job from Slovakia, Austria and Czech!

    Greetings from Slovenia where the situation is every single day better.Thanks to our government things are going slowly back to normal. The measures and restrictions were not so sharp as for example in Italy or Spain but we made in one way or another.

    With regards,

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