From 1 January 2021 forwards, EU Member States will likely begin implementing travel restrictions on arrivals and departures to/from the UK, according to an announcement published by the European Commission.
The new travel bans on what will, by then, have been a former Member State of the EU is reportedly in response to a new strain of COVID-19 that somehow only exists in the UK at the moment.
The travel restrictions will entail limitations to only “essential” travel between the EU and the UK. The only way that this would not happen is if the European Council decides to add the UK to their list of epidemiologically safe countries to exempt citizens from further travel restrictions.
In addition, EU Member States could have a coordinated approach to these new travel restrictions, something that has not yet happened since individual Member States began making up their own restrictions.
The Commission has made it a point to ensure that modes of transportation, such as railways, waterways, and air routes, do not get shut down under any circumstances. This is to ensure that “essential workers,” cargo, goods, public health authorities, and other important people and things can be transported across borders.
“With today’s recommendation we offer clarity to the Member States on how to keep the connectivity and ensure transport services following the discovery of the new strain of the COVID virus. Within the EU, it is crucial that transport workers are exempted from any restrictive measures, as quarantine and testing. We have to continue to maintain the supply chains intact, in line with our Green Lanes Communication,” saidCommissioner for Transport, Adina Vălean.
Free movement to and from the UK will apply until the end of December 2020, after which many things will change for the two parties.
Individual Member States have not yet announced whether their responses will be coordinated from the start or not.