The Schengen Area has never before faced such a serious pandemic on its territory. Understandably, Member States have reintroduced temporary border controls as an immediate health safeguard measure. The European Parliament’s position on the situation in the Schengen area following the COVID-19 outbreak will be voted on in the Civil Liberties Committee next Thursday. The EPP Group calls for a gradual, careful and responsible re-opening of the internal Schengen borders in a unified way. We cannot accept that border controls introduced due to COVID-19 are prolonged unnecessarily. Restrictions on the freedom of movement have to be reduced to the same extent as the relaxation of COVID-19 containment measures.