Following the rapid increase of COVID-19 cases in parts of England, of which a large proportion belongs to a new variant of the virus, the Commission today adopted a Recommendation on a coordinated approach to travel and transport measures. The recommendation builds on the Council Recommendation of 13 October on a coordinated approach to free movement in response to the COVID19-pandemic and several other guidance documents adopted by the Commission in the past months, in particular the Green Lanes Communication. While it is important to take swift temporary precautionary action to limit the further spread of the new strain of the virus and all non-essential travel to and from the UK should be discouraged, essential travel and transit of passengers should be facilitated. Flight and train bans should be discontinued given the need to ensure essential travel and avoid supply chain disruptions.
Until the end of December, free movement rules still apply to the UK. This means that Member States should not in principle refuse the entry of persons travelling from the UK. After the end of the transition period, the UK will be subject to Council Recommendation on the temporary restriction on non-essential travel into the EU and the possible lifting of such restriction.