Stopping a Virus from Moving Freely: Border Controls and Travel Restrictions in Times of Corona



One year down the road, this article evaluates the travel restrictions imposed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, first, in the light of the rules of the Schengen acquis (controls at the internal and external borders) and, second, under the provisions on the free movement of EU citizens. It will be argued that, as often is times of crisis, the existing legal framework has proven inadequate to respond to unforeseen circumstances. The result has been the primacy of national executive action. Despite the active role of the EU institutions in coordinating national responses and bringing them in line with EU law, ultimately, more binding coordination and regulation is required to ensure legal certainty and manage mobility, especially if the coronavirus is here to stay.


free movement of personsSchengenbordersCovid-19EU citizenship
  • Year: 2021
  • Volume: 17 Issue: 3
  • Page/Article: 34–50
  • DOI: 10.36633/ulr.686
  • Published on 12 Oct 2021
  • Peer Reviewed