EU urges governments to scrap travel restrictions for couples

EU urges governments to scrap travel restrictions for couples
Many cross-border couples have been kept apart by the pandemic for nearly half a year. File photo: Văn Thắng/Pexels
The EU Commission has called on governments to allow couples separated by coronavirus travel restrictions to reunite, following five months of separation for many in cross-border relationships.

“During the last meeting, yesterday, we raised an issue directly affecting many people, namely excluding unmarried partners of European citizens and residents from the travel restriction into the EU,” said a spokesperson for the commission, Adalbert Jahnz, at a press conference.  

“We will continue to call on all member states to allow the entry of people in duly attested relationships with European citizens and residents without delay.”

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Currently, it's up to each country to decide on exemptions to the EU entry ban, and the spokesperson said the commission had repeatedly encouraged member states to exempt unmarried partners of citizens and residents.

But only seven EU/EEA countries (Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland), have exempted unmarried partners from the ban, with most only allowing spouses to enter the country from outside the EU.

In Sweden, the rules are complex, with the government saying unmarried partners of Swedish citizens and residents can enter the country, but only if they can prove they've met in person and that they intend to marry or enter a common-law relationship with their partner.

Across the world, long-distance couples have campaigned under the slogans #LoveIsNotTourism and #LoveIsEssential, calling on governments to make allowances for those in serious relationships.


Member comments

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  1. Let’s hope legislators and officials move quickly to take positive actions towards remediating this matter.

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