Despite COVID-19 outbreak IVF patients and clinics still need to transport their reproductive cells (oocytes, sperm, embryos). After coronavirus quarantine mitigation, fertility clinics in many countries have started to accept patients, either to accept their frozen reproductive cells for the further treatment cycles.
The content below has been taken from a report by the International European Comission website (source: https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/faqs-communication-travel-restrictions-08042020_en.pdf) to ensure we are giving you the most accurate information available.
What is happening at EU level on travel restrictions?
On 17 March 2020, EU Member States agreed on coordinated action at the external borders based on the recommendation by the Commission to restrict non-essential travel for a period of 30 days. On 8 April 2020 the Commission recommended an extension of travel restrictions to the EU+ area by another 30 days. This would expire on 15 May 2020.
What are the restrictions?
Member States and Schengen Associated countries are temporarily suspending all non-essential travel from third countries to the EU+ area. The “EU+ area” includes 30 countries: 26 out of the 27 EU Member States as well as the four Schengen Associated States: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Ireland does not currently apply the travel restriction.
Why introduce travel restrictions?
Travel restrictions aim to reduce the number of travellers entering the European Union. The aim is to restrict the spread of the coronavirus and protect public health within the EU, as well as to prevent the virus from spreading from the EU to other countries.
Where can I find information on the restrictions?
Information should be available on the websites of the relevant national authorities (e.g. Ministries of Interior and Foreign Affairs). A daily summary of flight and passenger restrictions is available on the Eurocontrol website and is entitled ‘Covid Notam (notice to airmen) summary’.
Who is exempt from the travel restrictions and what is understood by “essential travel”?
The following are exempt from the temporary travel restriction to the EU+ area:
- all EU citizens and citizens of the Schengen Associated States, and their family members for the purposes of returning home;
- non-EU citizens who are long-term residents in the EU.
The temporary travel restrictions should also not apply to people with an essential function or need, including:
- Healthcare professionals, health researchers, and elderly care professionals;
- Frontier workers;
- Seasonal workers in agriculture;
- Transport personnel engaged in haulage of goods and other transport staff to the extent necessary;
- Diplomats, staff of international organisations, military personnel and humanitarian aid workers in the exercise of their functions;
- Passengers in transit;
- Passengers travelling for imperative family reasons;
- Persons in need of international protection or for other humanitarian reasons respecting the principle of ‘non-refoulement’.
Do the restrictions apply to:
- Medical professionals? No, temporary travel restrictions should not apply to travelling by people with an essential function or need, including healthcare professionals, health researchers, and elderly care professionals.
- Transport personnel? No, the temporary travel restrictions should not apply to transport personnel. This category should be interpreted broadly. - Someone claiming asylum? No, the temporary travel restrictions should not apply to travel by people with an essential need, including persons in need of international protection or for other humanitarian reasons.