Connecticut, US

Mar 17 2020

European Union Imposes 30-Day Entry Ban for Schengen Area

European Union, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Switzerland, United Kingdom

 

At a Glance:

  • Effective immediately, most non-EU nationals are banned from entering Schengen Area member countries or Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania. The ban is in place for a 30-day period and may be extended. Ireland and the United Kingdom are not covered by the EU ban announced today, but may decide to join the EU with similar measures.
  • Entry remains permitted for EU nationals, UK nationals, nationals of Schengen-associated countries (Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland) and their family members.
  • Entry remains permitted for EU long-term residence permit holders, those holding other types of EU or national residence permits or long-term visas. This applies both to the principal applicant and their family members.
  • Cross-border workers, medical staff, researchers, diplomats, passengers in transit, those travelling for imperative family reasons or in need of international protection or for other humanitarian reasons are exempt from the ban.
  • There may be some variances on the implementation of these measures among EU countries. Fragomen will continue monitoring these and issuing alerts.

The situation

Effective immediately, most non-EU nationals are banned from entering Schengen Area member countries or Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania. The ban is in place for a 30-day period and may be extended.

Ireland and the United Kingdom are not covered by the EU ban announced today, but may decide to join the EU with similar measures.

The Schengen area is an area without internal border checks and with coordinated visa requirements, comprised of 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.

A closer look

Details of the entry ban include the following:

  • EU / Schengen / UK nationals allowed to enter. Entry remains permitted for nationals of the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and their family members.
  • Permit holders and key staff. Entry remains permitted for EU long-term residence permit holders, those holding other type of EU and national residence permits or long-term visas. This applies both to the principal applicant and family members. Cross-border workers, medical staff, researchers, diplomats, passengers in transit, those travelling for imperative family reasons or in need of international protection or for other humanitarian reasons are exempt from the ban.
  • 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.
  • No internal Schengen border closures. While some EU countries have closed their national borders, the European Commission continues to refrain from closure of all internal Schengen borders, instead advocating health screening – whereby symptomatic individuals would be moved into healthcare facilities rather than refused entry.

 

Impact

  • Impact on travel. Non-exempt travelers should anticipate refusal of entry. Employers and foreign nationals are advised to postpone travel plans, possibly beyond the current anticipated end date as the ban may be extended.  Transit through the European Union, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania to another destination country should not be impacted.
  • Increased border checks. To enforce the ban, the European Union will expand current checks at the external borders of the Schengen Area to the level of ‘systemic checks’, which would include health screening, even for EU nationals. The European Commission urges authorities to prevent queues when implementing additional checks and bans.

 

Looking ahead

  • Extensions possible. The entry ban may be extended if necessary. It is not yet confirmed what extension duration would be considered.
  • Other measures possible. Exempt travelers may be subject to quarantine or self-isolation. The European Commission is calling for national border guards to enforce such measures.

 

Fragomen expects immigration and travel restrictions to continue as global governments deal with the coronavirus pandemic. Please continue to check Fragomen’s dedicated website for the most up to date information.

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].