The open borders project appears to be collapsing as more and more countries are closing their borders due to the corona virus pandemic.
UPDATE: Lithuania has announced they are also closing their borders to foreigners. Citizens will also not be allowed to leave the country.
UPDATE 2: Estonia have now also announced they are closing their borders to foreigners from the 17th of March. Estonian citizens, Estonian “grey passport” holders, residents and people whose family are residents will be allowed to enter the country.
UPDATE 3: Germany is also closing borders. Their borders with France, Austria Switzerland, Denmark and Luxembour will be closed said German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer. Commuters and transport will still be allowed.
UPDATE 4: Hungary is now the 12th country to announce border closures. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said the borders will be closed to all passenger transport and only Hungarian citizens will be allowed to enter, reports Hungary Today.
Twelve European countries have closed, or will soon close their borders either fully or partially.
These countries include Austria, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Estonia and Slovenia.
Austria was the first to announce border controls with Italy. They are stopping people from Italy arriving in the country unless they carry a doctor’s note that certifies they are healthy.
Slovakia banned foreigners and non-residents from entering the country and stopped all international travel. Polish citizens however will be allowed to enter the country.
Slovenia have closed their border with Italy and has advised Slovenians in Italy to return home.
Poland will ban all foreigners except those with residence permit from entering the country starting on Sunday. Polish citizens returning home will have to be quarantined for 14 days.
Denmark has also closed its borders to try and curb the corona virus outbreak. Danish police assisted by the military set up a checkpoint on the Öresund bridge which connects Denmark with Sweden.
Norway is the second Scandinavian country to close its borders. All airports and ports will be closed. The border with Sweden is also closed in practice, as foreigners without a residence permit will be stopped at the border.
Czech Republic is introducing some of the toughest measures of all. NO ONE will be allowed to leave the country, and foreigners will not be allowed to enter the country. This unprecedented move will begin on midnigth 16th of March.
Latvia has decided to close ALL of its international air, road, sea and railway borders from the 17th of March. Latvian citizens and people living in the country will be allowed to return.
These measures come as the corona virus pandemic has continued to spread across Europe, with Italy now having 21 157 infected and 1 441 deaths.
Spain has also seen a massive increase in number of infected, now standing at 6 313 with 193 deaths.
France currently has 4 499 infections with 91 deaths and are now closing all cafes, restaurants and non-essential shops.
We at Times of Sweden are reporting LIVE updates on the developing corona virus pandemic here.
It is unprecedented for so many EU countries to close their borders, as the free movement of people between European countries is one of the foundations of the EU. Norway is not a member of the EU, but has had free movement with the European Union, being in the Schengen agreement.
Norway stopping Swedish citizens from entering the country is also unprecedented. Sweden and Norway used to be in a union between 1814 to 1905, and have had open borders long before the EU was founded.