The ECOWAS Ministerial Coordination Committee on Transport, Logistics and Trade held a high level meeting on 12th June, 2020 to find a coordinated response to the fight against the Corona Virus and to examine the possibility of reopening the borders. The meeting was conducted via videoconference.
Several options were put forward with regards to opening of land and air borders according to a precise schedule however, only two recommendations were adopted.
The first phase, called ‘internal travel’, consists of reopening domestic airports and lifting restrictions on land transport in ECOWAS member states at the end of June 2020.
The second phase is based on widening the opening between member states to allow the free movement of goods and people. The proposed date is the first half of July (July 15 at the latest).
Finally, the ECOWAS proposes the opening of airspace and land borders to other countries (excluding ECOWAS) that do not have very high levels of covid-19 contamination rate from the second half of July (July 31, 2020 at the latest).
This opening, as recommended by the committee, will depend on the evolution of the pandemic within the ECOWAS member countries and other countries and will be subject to periodic evaluation.
These are recommendations that will need to be endorsed by heads of state.
1) July 1 land borders
2) July 15 air borders: UEMOA / ECOWAS flights only
3) on July 22 all African flights
4) on August 1 all intercontinental flights