Before the Coronavirus outbreak, the Schengen area has been seen has a borderless region.However, in an extreme measure to prevent the further spread of the COVID-19 disease, this notion will change.
The European Union is currently discussing the idea of introducing a travel ban on all 26 countries belonging to the Schengen Region. This ban will cover all non-essential visits for any persons without citizenship to the area.
President of the EU Commission Ursula von der Leyen announced the proposal on Monday, after a phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the heads of the European Commission and Council. In her announcement, von der Leyen stated: “The less travel, the more we can contain the virus.” She urged the government heads of each country to introduce a “temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU.” This ban is due to last for 30 days, but “can be prolonged as necessary.”
Many countries belonging to the EU and the Schengen Region have already implemented a similar procedure. For example, Germany has introduced border checks that only allow German passport holders into the country. This is also true for Estonia. However, this new travel ban will apply to all countries in Schengen. Countries outside of the region, like Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland and Romania, are invited to adopt these restrictions, though they will not be obligated to implement the ban.
The countries that will most definitely be affected by this new border control, include: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
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