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EU Shuts Down External Borders as Germany Reintroduced Partial Borders Checks on MondayThe EU has announced today evening that the Members of the European Council have agreed with the EU Commission’s guidelines to close the external borders of the Schengen Area after Germany announced that on Monday it started border checks with five of its neighbours permitting only essential travels.  

The decision of the Council and the Commission was taken today during a videoconference on COVID 19 in order to follow up on previous conclusions of 10 March 2020.

The final move was announced earlier in a press conference of the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, and the President of the European Council Charles Michel, who explained that all borders would be closed for a period of 30 days for all non-essential travel.

President Michael explained during the press conference that the group endorsed the guidelines proposed by the Commission on border management concluding that the members ensure passage of medicines, food and goods and citizens must be able to travel to their home countries. 

To limit the spread of the virus globally, we agreed to reinforce our external borders by applying a coordinated temporary restriction of non-essential travel to the EU for a period of 30 days, based on the approach proposed by the Commission,” he said. 

At the same time, President Von der Leyen said the Member States supported the idea of tightened external borders, explaining that throughout the videocall the internal borders were also discussed. 

Early on Monday this week, Germany stationed its federal police at the internal borders with Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg and Denmark, who started carrying border checks under a decision taken by the Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer.

The decision was taken as an attempt to further reduce the risk of infection from the Coronavirus, following a wave of EU countries sealing off their borders. 

Minister Seehofer made his decision known to the European Commission and the interior ministers of the EU countries on Monday through a notification letter declaring that Germany would reintroduce temporary border controls based on Article 28 of the Schengen Border Code.