Virginia, US

Apr 09 2020

COVID-19 Entry Ban Likely to be Extended Until May 15

European Union

At a Glance

  • The European Commission has recommended that EU countries extend their COVID-19-related temporary entry bans until May 15, 2020, and that they maintain exemptions for residents (irrespective of their nationality) and essential travel.
  • To enter into force, the European Commission’s recommendations must be implemented by each EU country in their national rules. EU countries are expected to decide whether and how to apply this extension over the coming weeks.
  • For up-to-date global information on COVID-19-related travel bans, restrictions and concessions, among other information, check Fragomen’s dedicated website.

The situation

The European Commission has recommended that EU countries extend their COVID-19-related entry bans until May 15, 2020, and that they maintain exemptions for residents (irrespective of their nationality) and essential travel.

A closer look

  • Entry ban details. Most non-EU nationals are banned from entering Schengen Area member countries (Austria, Belgium, 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) and Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania. Ireland and the United Kingdom are not covered by the ban.
  • Extension and exemptions. It remains to be seen which countries will apply the recommended extension and exemptions, which should include the following:
  • EU or third-country national legal residents. EU countries should allow EU nationals and their family members as well as third-country nationals with legal residence to re-enter.
  • Essential travel.  EU countries should allow those with essential travel purposes (e.g., health care professionals, transport of goods, food industry) to enter.
  • Transit. EU countries should allow non-resident nationals to transit to their country of residence.
  • New permit holders. Most EU countries urge new permit holders to postpone travel until after the entry ban is lifted, unless they are employed in a vital occupation. There are exceptions, and this should be checked on a case-by-case basis.
  • Exit remains permitted. Foreign nationals will continue to be allowed to exit but are advised to check entry restrictions of their destination country before traveling.

Looking ahead

To enter into force, the European Commission’s recommendations must be implemented by each EU country in their national rules. EU countries are expected to decide whether and how to apply this extension over the coming weeks. Some countries have expressed willingness to gradually ease travel restrictions, so it is not clear how each country will apply this recommendation.

Nevertheless, the European Commission has requested affected countries to implement the extension in a uniform and coordinated manner, taking account of recently-published practical guidance.

Fragomen will monitor the situation and report on relevant developments.

For up-to-date information on COVID-19-related travel bans, restrictions and concessions, among other information, check Fragomen’s dedicated website.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to [email protected].