The President of the European Commission has proposed a temporary travel restriction to the EU for a period of at least 30 days. The move comes during the effort to contain the coronavirus pandemic of which the EU is currently the epicenter.
The announcement was made by the President for the European Commission this afternoon. The travel ban comes as United States President Donald Trump announced a similar ban for people leaving Europe for the US last week.
The @EU_Commission presents guidelines on border measures & proposes:
1⃣Green lanes/fast lanes giving priority to essential transport to keep the mobility sector going & ensure economic continuity
2⃣Temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU (30 days) pic.twitter.com/9bda9MntF0
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) March 16, 2020
What has been proposed?
Ms von der Leyen’s message appeared to be more focused around land borders but would apply to air travel too. Essentially, the ban would be similar to that the United States has placed on EU citizens. Trump has banned passengers who have been in the UK, Ireland, and Schengen zone in the past 14 days from entering the United States for a period of at least 30 days.
EU Citizens and permanent residents would still be allowed to enter the EU, along with a selection of others such as medical workers helping to address coronavirus and those transporting goods required by the member states.
As the issue affects entry into the European Union, intra-Schengen flights would likely be able to continue although respecting state by state restrictions. It was not immediately clear how this announcement would affect travelers from the United Kingdom which is currently in its Brexit transition period.
President of the European Commission
Speaking on the matter, von der Leyen said,
“Here in Europe, we are heavily affected by the virus. We know that everything that reduces social interaction also reduces the speed of the spread of the virus. The less travel, the more we can contain the virus”.
“I propose to the heads of state and government to introduce temporary restriction on non essential travel to the European Union”
What other restrictions are in place?
Beyond this blanket proposal announced by the President of the EU commission, some other border closures and travel bans have been enacted on a state level. For example, LOT Polish Airlines has suspended all international flights after the Polish Government decided to halt air travel.
Additionally, last week, the Dutch government decided to suspend all flights from coronavirus hotspots. On the ground, Germany has placed some border restrictions on neighboring countries.
Will you be affected by a 30 day EU travel ban? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.