The European Commission has recommended that Schengen Member States and Schengen Associated States lift internal border controls and prolong the temporary restriction on non-essential travel into the EU until June 30. The European Commission has also set forth a plan to progressively lift the non-essential travel restriction.

Key Points:

  • The European Commission recommends lifting internal border controls as of this week. Some controls remain in place, however. The EU commission has launched a web platform to support a safe relaunch of travelling and tourism across Europe.
  • The European Commission recommends prolonging the current restrictions on non-essential travel until June 30 and preparing a list of those third countries for which travel restrictions can be lifted starting July 1.
  • The European Commission has recommended that the travel ban be lifted on July 1 for travelers from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia. Other countries may be added to this list before July 1 based on agreed upon criteria.
  • For nationals of third countries for which the travel ban will remain in force, the following additional exemptions should be applicable:
  • Highly qualified third-country workers if their employment is necessary from an economic perspective and the work cannot be postponed or performed abroad.
  • Third-country nationals traveling for the purpose of study.
  • EU citizens and citizens of Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, and third- country nationals legally residing in the European Union, as well as their family members, regardless of whether or not they are returning home. Member states are also permitted to take appropriate measures such as requiring such persons to undergo self-isolation upon arrival.

Additional information: The travel ban was introduced in March and applied to all non-essential travel with several exceptions such as for healthcare workers, etc.

Analysis & Comments: Nationals of certain third countries, for which the ban on non-essential travel will be lifted, will be allowed to travel to the EU as of July 1. For nationals of other countries, for whom the travel ban will remain applicable, the additional exemption for highly qualified workers is expected to allow more travel options as of July 1. Employers can rearrange travel schedules of affected workers accordingly. Deloitte will continue following this matter and will provide updates as information becomes available. Please check Deloitte’s COVID-19 Digital Map, available here, for information on travel restrictions and immigration changes in other countries.

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