COVID-19 pandemic border closure disrupts free movement of goods and people



More than 12 of the 26 EU Schengen countries have introduced checks on their internal borders — an effort to put up barriers against the spread of the coronavirus. Europe is facing a return to heavy restrictions on the way people and goods move within the internal market — and is creating problems for keeping hospitals and supermarket shelves stocked. The following borders are particularly affected:


  • ·Spain-Portugal: All but nine cross-border roads remain open. Cross-border commuters and freight truckers can pass but need to stop at the checkpoint and say where they are headed and what cargo they are carrying. This has caused long delays.


  • ·France-Spain-Andorra: Crossings on the Franco-Spanish border were subjected to new controls. Land-locked Andorra was no entry checks


  • ·Poland-Germany Traffic chaos occurred when Poland closed the borders with Germany with traffic jams of more than 30-kilometer-long traffic at checkpoints. Polish citizens and permanent residents are allowed to enter the country on the condition that they are quarantined for two weeks.


  • ·Denmark-Germany: Denmark closed its borders to travellers, but not did not enforce a border controls on goods.


  • ·Germany-France: Germany closed its borders with Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg and Denmark on 16/03/2020. Only those will a valid reason to enter can pass. This includes freight transport. Nevertheless, border controls caused traffic jams, especially at the COVID-19 hit the Alsace region. Cross-border commuters experience delays between France and Switzerland.


  • · Italy-Austria-Germany: Austria closed its borders for travellers for Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. Travellers who can show a valid health certificate or promise to go into a two-week quarantine can also enter. People can pass through the country without stops. Freight transport is also allowed but with checks leading to backlogs.

  • Hungary-Slovakia: Hungary closed its borders to passenger traffic. Freight is allowed but trucks are restricted to designated corridors and service stations. This has resulted in an almost 100 kilometre holdup on the border with Slovakia.

  • Hungary - Romania: There are still delays of 20 kilometres reported and people are prevented from returning to their countries. Important freight with food supplies and medicines and equipment cannot pass the border seamlessly.


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