EU Commission recommends partial and gradual lifting of travel restrictions for third-Country citizens

EU Commission recommends partial and gradual lifting of travel restrictions for third-Country citizens

The European Commission has issued today a recommendation to the Schengen Member States and the Schengen Associated States “to lift internal border controls by 15 June 2020 and to prolong the temporary restriction on non-essential travel into the EU until 30 June 2020, and sets out an approach to progressively lifting the restriction afterwards.”

According to the recommendation, “travel restrictions should be lifted for countries selected together by the Member States, based on a set objective criteria including the health situation, the ability to apply containment measures during travel, and reciprocity considerations, taking into account data from relevant sources such as ECDC and WHO.”
“For countries towards which the restriction remains in place, the Commission proposes to enlarge the categories of permitted travellers to include, for instance, international students. The Commission is also issuing guidance to Member States to ensure that the resumption of visa operations abroad is well coordinated with the gradual lifting of the travel restrictions,” the European Commission stressed in its statement.

Ylva Johansson, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, pointed out that following the lifting of all internal border checks inside the Union, the Commission is recommending a clear and flexible approach towards removing travel restrictions to the EU starting on July 1.

“International travel is key for tourism and business, and for family and friends reconnecting. While we will all have to remain careful, the time has come to make concrete preparations for lifting restrictions with countries whose health situation is similar to the EU’s and for resuming visa operations,” Ylva Johansson noted.

The European Commission recommends to the Member States “to coordinate on their decisions on lifting travel restrictions for third-country citizens according to the following objective criteria:

• Epidemiological situation and coronavirus response in that country;
• The ability to apply containment measures during travel;
• Whether or not that country has lifted travel restrictions towards the EU.

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