European Union (EU) leaders have decided to shut the EU bloc’s external borders in a bid to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The decision was announced yesterday, following the proposal made by the European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, on 16 March 2020.
The measure will apply to 27 EU countries including Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. The travel ban will apply to all non-EU nationals visiting the bloc, and exceptions will only be made for long-term residents of the EU, diplomats, and essential healthcare workers such as doctors and nurses.
It has been confirmed that fast-track lanes will be set up to ensure the free-flow of goods across the continent.
Earlier this year, the UK officially left the EU. A transition period has been established until December 2020 during which the UK and the EU will negotiate additional arrangements to the Brexit deal. Throughout this time free trade and free movement will continue between Britain and Europe.
In light of this, Europe’s recent decision to shut down borders and limit travel will not affect the UK.
The recent developments in the COVID-19 pandemic have seen many European countries impose full or partial border closures in an aim to contain the virus, hindering the EU’s cherished principle of free movement.
The UK will also be invited to implement the measure, but for now Britain’s borders remain open.
If you have any UK visa or immigration issue, whether for work or any other reason, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Please note that the information on this blog is current at the date and time of posting. The situation regarding international travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic is changing fast. We advise that you contact us prior to making travel arrangements that may impact your visa application or immigration history.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.
Consultant in our Private Client department