The Commission presented guidelines to Member States on health-related border management measures in the context of the COVID-19 emergency.
The aim is to protect citizens’ health, ensure the right treatment of people who do have to travel, and make sure essential goods and services remain available.
Commissioners Kyriakides and Johansson have presented the guidelines to EU Ministers of Health and of Home Affairs at their first joint video meeting starting at 11am this morning. President von der Leyen said: “Our measures to contain the Coronavirus outbreak will be effective only if we coordinate on the European level. We have to take exceptional measures to protect the health of our citizens. But let’s make sure goods and essential services continue to flow in our internal market. This is the only way to prevent shortages of medical equipment or food. It’s not only an economic issue: our single market is a key instrument of European solidarity. I am in discussion with all Member States so that we confront this challenge together, as a Union.”
The guidelines set out principles for an integrated approach to an effective border management to protect health while preserving the integrity of the internal market. People identified as at risk of spreading COVID-19 should have access to appropriate health care, either in the country of arrival or in the country of departure, and this should be coordinated between the two.
Free circulation of goods is also crucial to maintain availability of goods. This is particularly crucial for essential goods such as food supplies including livestock, vital medical and protective equipment and supplies. More generally, control measures should not cause serious disruption of supply chains, essential services of general interest and of national economies and the EU economy as a whole.
The full press release with more information is available online.