The European Union is set to shut down all Schengen Area Borders, as an extreme measure to prevent the Coronavirus from further spreading in the borderless area. The European countries have discussed today the idea of introducing a ban on entry to the 26-state Schengen passport-free travel zone, which would cover all non-essential visits from third countries, with exemptions including for citizens of the Schengen area, people familiar with the work.
The proposal was announced by the President of the EU Commission Ursula von der Leyen through a tweet.
“The EU Commission presents guidelines on border measures & proposes:
1. Green lanes/fast lanes giving priority to essential transport to keep the mobility sector going & ensure economic continuity
2. Temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU (30 days),”
The move comes after several EU and Schengen Area Member Countries started introducing border checks on their own, banning from entering all travellers that were not their passport holders, including Germany and Estonia.
If it comes into force, the ban will apply to all non-essential travel to the Schengen area. The EU but non-Schengen countries of Ireland, Cyprus, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria will also be invited to also implement the restrictions.
The idea of such a measure has been discussed on a phone call this morning between French president Emmanuel Macron, German chancellor Angela Merkel and the heads of the European Commission and Council.
The news related to the decision comes just a few hours after the Civil Liberties Chair Juan Fernando López Aguilar demanded proportionality and coordination within the EU on the reintroduction of border controls at some Schengen internal borders due to coronavirus.
“The news related to the decision comes just a few hours after the Civil Liberties Chair Juan Fernando López Aguilar demanded proportionality and coordination within the EU on the reintroduction of border controls at some Schengen internal borders due to coronavirus,” the Chair said.
He further I urged all member states to take their measures in full respect of the principles of proportionality and, above all, solidarity among EU Member States, non-discrimination and the applicable Schengen rules.