Romanians, Bulgarians to fly, sail passport-free to EU from end-March 2024

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Citizens of European Union members Romania and Bulgaria will no longer need a passport from March 31, 2024 to travel by air or sea to most other EU countries as well as Norway and Switzerland, the council of EU governments said on Saturday.

The decision extends the EU’s passport-free travel zone, called the Schengen area, to 25 of the 27 EU countries. The Schengen area includes also Norway and Switzerland, which are not part of the EU, but does not include EU members Ireland and Cyprus and EU citizens still must have a passport to enter them.

Romanians and Bulgarians will still face passport checks when crossing land borders to their EU neighbours, though talks on lifting them as well will continue in 2024 and a decision is to be taken on that “within a reasonable time frame”, the European Commission said in a statement.

(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)