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COVID-19: Temporary Restriction on Non-Essential Travel to the EU

20.03.2020 - Article

The Heads of State and Government of European Union Member States and associated non-EU Member States have agreed to the recommendation put forward by the Commission that, for the purpose of containing or slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus, restrictions should be imposed on non-essential travel from third countries into the EU+ area, initially for a period of 30 days.

Federal Minister Seehofer has issued a corresponding order, with immediate effect, in accordance with article 14 paragraph 6 of the Schengen Borders Code.

The travel restrictions expressly do not apply to the following persons:

  1. Citizens of EU Member States and of Schengen associated countries, including their family members, as well as citizens of the United Kingdom, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, including their family members, who are entering for the purpose of transit to their home country or country of residence;
  2. Third-country nationals who hold a long-term residence permit for an EU Member State or one of the countries mentioned above (a residence permit or long-term visa, e.g. for pursuing studies or taking up employment), provided that they are returning to their place of habitual residence;
  3. Third-country nationals in the so-called “essential functions or needs” category; these officially include:
  • health care workers, health researchers, and care professionals;
  • cross-border workers, transport personnel employed for the movement of goods and in other essential sectors;
  • diplomats, staff of international organisations, military personnel and humanitarian aid workers insofar as they are performing official duties;
  • passengers in transit;
  • passengers travelling for imperative family reasons;
  • persons in need of international protection or seeking entry for other humanitarian reasons.
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