Travel to the EU will be restricted after the Brexit transition period expires at the end of the month due to rules aimed at combatting coronavirus (Covid-19), it has been reported.
The new normal
Non-essential visits to the EU by UK citizens will be hit by curbs, according to the Financial Times. Most UK residents will face restrictions on visiting the remaining 27 members of the EU from 1 January when rules permitting free travel within the bloc cease to apply to Britons, the newspaper said.
Foreign secretary Dominic Raab acknowledged that travel could be disrupted across Europe. He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:
Covid restrictions will depend on the combination of what the EU decides, but also member states. We have already got challenges with that and we have put our own restrictions in place.
He acknowledged that coronavirus:
remains a live issue and we need to make sure we have got control of it
I’m afraid restriction on travel, inevitably, is going to be something that is kept under review.
Asked whether that would mean Britons will find it difficult to go to the European mainland, he said:
It all depends on the prevalence of the virus in those continental European countries.
A earlier statement issued by a government spokesperson said:
We take a scientific, risk-based approach to health measures at the border, and it is of course in the interests of all countries to allow safe international travel as we emerge from the pandemic.
The formal end of the transition period on 31 December means Britons will face an EU regime that only allows non-essential travel from a very limited number of non-EU countries, the Financial Times reported.
Most UK citizens would only be able to travel to the EU if individual states make provisions for such a move, or the bloc as a whole lessens its pandemic travel curbs, the newspaper said.
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