The European Commission believes that unmarried couples who find themselves on opposite sides of the EU border amid the coronavirus pandemic should be able to meet in the EU, despite the ban on “optional” travel, said EC spokesman Eric Mamer. Post posted in Twitter European Commission on 7 August.
In particular, if one of the lovers is a citizen or permanent resident of an EU member state, then his partner, according to the European Commission, should be able to legally enter the territory of the union, regardless of citizenship.
“Love is not tourism. The Commission intends to make sure that unmarried couples in long-term relationships can reunite, ”Mamer said during a press conference in Brussels.
The hashtag # Love is not tourism (#LoveIsNotTourism) began to gain popularity in social networks in support of the reunion of lovers separated by the coronavirus.
Earlier, on August 4, the European Commission asked EU countries to avoid closing internal borders, despite the increase in cases of COVID-19. According to the representative of the European Commission, restrictions on free movement within the European Union should be applied only when strictly necessary. They must be “coordinated, proportionate and non-discriminatory to address public health risks.”
EU countries approved on March 17 a 30-day closure of the community’s external borders to combat the spread of COVID-19.
A number of countries have introduced controls at their internal borders. The restrictions did not include diplomats, as well as family members of EU citizens and residents. At the same time, in practice, many families, as well as couples without official documents, found themselves separated for many months by borders and imposed by the EU bans.
In early May, the European Commission recommended the EU member states to extend this measure. Some states gradually began to open their internal borders.