What is the Schengen area?

The Schengen area is an agreement between 22 EU member states and the four countries of the European Free Trade Association to remove regular checks on the movement of people between them. In simple terms, it permits free movement between these countries. The agreement establishes common rules on the management of internal borders between members and also external borders. Temporary closures of borders is permitted in the event of emergencies, such as the coronavirus outbreak. Ireland received an opt out and is not part of the Schengen area, and nor are Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania.


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