Traveling through Europe by car is unlikely during the next few months

Border check at the Polish border.
Border check at the Polish border. Source: ERR/EBU

It will probably not be possible to travel by car through Europe in the next few months, because it is not clear which countries will open their borders in the near future, Undersecretary for European Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Märt Volmer told ERR on Monday.

Last week, the heads of governments of the Baltic states announced the three countries would open their borders for the free movement of residents on May 15.

However, Volmer said it will take time to conclude similar agreements with other countries, and no deadlines can be set at the moment. At the moment, the idea of the opening of the Lithuanian-Polish border is gaining momentum but will not happen anytime soon.

"Poland is completely closed, [and] has not opened its borders. I do not know when they will open. If they are ready, we would certainly be willing to tell them that we will not apply the quarantine requirement to their citizens either. I don't think Germany has opened anything either. Negotiations are underway, but it depends on many factors: Our readiness, the decisions of these countries, the spread of the virus," said Volmer.

Volmer said many Estonians working in Brussels and elsewhere in Europe have shown interested in how to get back to Estonia with their own transport, but there is no good news to report at the moment.

"I suspect the possibility of driving by car will not arise at least in the first half of the summer. This presupposes that all countries along the way have opened their borders, and the reason why a person crosses the border is accepted by them and the quarantine requirement is not applied. I do not dare to be optimistic that this will happen any time soon," Volmer said.

He said it is wise to be careful when traveling to other countries because the quarantine requirements are different and in some places they are very strict.

"There are some countries, like Turkey, where you will be stopped at the border and put in a place designated by the state. And for 14 days you will be more or less like a prisoner. Poland and Lithuania are also quite strict. It depends on the countries, and it can be very risky if a country interprets it very rigidly, then you will have to spend two weeks in a relatively desolate abandoned hotel," said Volmer.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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