The European Commission has proposed the following for travel restrictions to be lifted for non-EU countries as of July 1, 2020 for all Member States so that it maintains a coordinated and uniform approach:
- Objective criteria: Restrictions should be lifted first towards non-EU countries whose epidemiological situation is similar or better than the EU average and where sufficient capabilities to deal with the virus are in place. In doing so, Member States should consider the non-EU countries' ability to apply containment measures during travel, including potential transit via high-risk areas and whether that specific country has lifted its own travel restrictions towards the EU and Schengen States. These criteria are included in a detailed checklist issued by the Commission, to help Member States reach coordinated decisions.
- Coordinated approach: Going forward, the Commission proposes a coordination mechanism whereby it would provide technical support to Member States and Schengen Associated States and facilitate the preparation of a list of countries towards which travel restrictions could be lifted, which will be regularly updated. However, the current restrictions will remain in place towards countries whose situation is worse than in the EU. The Commission reiterates that Member States should adopt such decisions in a coordinated manner and ensure their uniform application across the EU.
Those who travel for study or highly skilled non-EU workers whose work is deemed necessary and can't be postponed or performed abroad are exempt from the travel restriction. EU citizens, citizens of Schengen Associated States, and non-EU nationals legally residing in the EU, as well as their family members are exempt from the travel restriction as well.
The Commission also published a guidance for Member States to resume the processing of visa applications in parallel with its current communication.
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