On 5 December 2023, the Court of Justice of the EU validated a Member State’s authority to implement travel bans, testing, and quarantine measures during a health crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

The case arose from Belgium’s travel restrictions, including banning non-essential journeys to and from countries classified as “red zones”, and the legal question was raised regarding the compatibility of such measures with EU law.

The Court held that the restrictions, aimed at combating the spread of a pandemic, must be based on clear and precise reasons, be non-discriminatory, and proportionate. The ruling emphasizes that such measures can be enacted through general legislation but must allow for citizen foreseeability and be subject to legal challenge. The restrictions should comply with the principle of proportionality, ensuring they are appropriate, necessary, and not excessively infringing on individuals’ rights.

Reference: case C-128/22 – ECLI:EU:C:2023:951.

Full text of the decision available at en