COVID-19 Travel Restrictions – Guidance by Commission
On 30 March 2020, the European Commission issued practical guidance on implementation of the temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU. The ban pursuant to the Schengen Borders Code was outlined in a Commission Communication of 16 March 2020. The guidance paper issued now aims to assist border guards and visa authorities. It gives advice on implementation of the temporary restriction at the border, on facilitating transit arrangements for the repatriation of EU citizens, and on visa issues. It addresses issues that Member States raised in the bi-weekly videoconferences of Home Affairs Ministers and in technical meetings with Member States.
Frontex, Europol, and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) assisted in the preparation of the guidance. It also follows up on the joint statement of the Members of the European Council of 26 March 2020, which emphasised the need to step up efforts to ensure that EU citizens stranded in third countries who wish to go home can do so.