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Parliamentary questions
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15 June 2020
Answer given by Ms Johansson
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: P-001115/2020

Member States may reintroduce temporary border controls at internal borders if justified for reasons of public policy or internal security. In an extremely critical situation, public policy could include reasons of public health and a Member State can identify a need to reintroduce border controls as a reaction to the risk posed by a contagious disease. Member States must notify the reintroduction of border controls in accordance with the Schengen Border Code(1). Any such decision should be proportionate and subject to evaluation as to its continued effectiveness.

The Commission has adopted several guidance notices on a common EU response to the Covid-19 emergency, including on public health, borders and mobility(2). On 15 April 2020, the President of the Commission and the President of the European Council set out a ‘Joint European Roadmap towards lifting COVID-19 containment measures’(3).

On 13 May 2020, the Commission followed up with a communication on lifting restrictions at EU internal borders in a gradual and coordinated way, mirroring the progressive lifting of domestic restrictions. The Commission proposes a staged approach that starts by lifting controls between areas, regions and Member States with sufficiently similar and positively evolving epidemiological situations. The approach must also be flexible, including the possibility to reintroduce certain measures if the health situation requires.

(1)Regulation (EU) 2016/399 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on a Union Code on the rules governing the movement of persons across borders (Schengen Borders Code).
(2) https://ec.europa.eu/info/live-work-travel-eu/health/coronavirus-response/overview-commissions-response_en#economicmeasures
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