Travel and transport to and from the UK. The Recommendations of the Commission in response to the new variant of coronavirus

On 22 December 2020, the European Commission adopted a Recommendation on a coordinated approach to travel and transport measures following the rapid increase of Covid-19 cases in parts of England belonging to a new strain of the virus. 

Since free movement rules still apply to the UK until the end of December, the Commission, based on the Council Recommendation of 13 October 2020, considered that essential travel and transit of passengers should be facilitated, while recognizing the importance of taking swift temporary precautionary action to limit the further spread of the new variant of the virus. The Commission has also emphasized that flight and train bans should be discontinued given the need to ensure essential travel and avoid supply chain disruptions. 

More specifically, the Commission discourages all non-essential travel to and from the UK until further notice and recommends Member States to exempt Union citizen and third-country nationals that enjoy EU free movement rights from further temporary restrictions provided that they undergo a test or quarantine. In addition to specific recommendations on travellers with an essential function, transit of passengers and transport staff, according to the Commission, any prohibition of transport services, such as flight or train bans, should be discontinued. Finally, cargo flows need to continue uninterrupted, in accordance with the Green Lanes Communication and the Air Cargo Communication

After the end of the transition period, thus as of 1 January 2021, the UK will be subject to Council Recommendation on the temporary restriction on non-essential travel, except the possible lifting of such restriction by the Council.

Esmeralda Dedej