EC urges free movement of seasonal farm workers - FreshFruitPortal.com

EC urges member states to open borders to seasonal farm workers

EU countries should allow seasonal migrant workers who plant or harvest crops to cross borders despite national measures to contain the coronavirus, the European Commission (EC) has said.

The executive branch of the economic bloc said member states should establish simple and fast procedures to ensure smooth passage for essential workers with proportionate health screenings.

Some 1.5 million people live in one EU country and work in another, and the region's farms employ hundreds of thousands of seasonal migrant workers.

Over recent weeks many EU countries have expressed concerns over severe labor shortages

Countries across the 27-nation European Union have set up border controls to stem the spread of the virus as well as cross-border workers. This has had the side effect of delaying food and medical supplies.

The EU executive last week urged EU countries to limit to 15 minutes the time it takes for goods traffic to cross a border, reporting some success on Monday, although some crossings into and out of Hungary had jams of up to 4 km (2.5 miles).