The Schengen area is an agreement between 22 EU Member States and the four countries of the European Free Trade Association to abolish regular checks on the carriage of passengers between them. Simply put, it allows free movement between these countries. The Agreement establishes common rules for the border of internal borders between members as well as for external borders. Temporary border closures are allowed in the event of an emergency, such as the outbreak of the coronavirus. Ireland has been opted out and is not part of the Schengen area, nor are Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania. Ten local transportation agreements came into effect until June 2017 [Update]. The Single Market Act would give UK ministers the power to adopt rules, including on state and trade, even if they breach the Withdrawal Agreement. UK ministers say these measures are needed as a backstop in case the EU acts inappropriately. Of the 27 EU Member States, 22 participate in the Schengen area. Of the five EU Member States that are not part of the Schengen area, four – Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania – are legally obliged to join in the future, while the other – Ireland – maintains an opt-out.

The four member states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, are not members of the EU, but have signed agreements related to the Schengen Agreement. Three European micro-states that are not members of the European Union, but are enclaves or half-slaves within an EU member state – Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City – are de facto part of the Schengen area. However, from the end of 2022, visitors from countries that have visa waiver agreements with the EU (including the UK) will no longer be able to enter the Schengen area only with their passports. The European Commission has confirmed that UK citizens must pay a fee to visit Europe and complete the etias online application form before travel. A short-stay visa costs €60 ($46; $66), but only €35 for Russians, Ukrainians and citizens of some other countries under visa facilitation agreements. Vatican City has an open border with Italy. In 2006, it expressed interest in joining the Schengen Agreement for closer cooperation on the exchange of information and similar activities under the Schengen Information System. [110] Exceptionally, Italy allowed people to visit Vatican City without being accepted for an Italian visa, and then to be escorted by police between the airport and the Vatican or to use a helicopter. [Citation required] However, there is no customs union (or customs duties) between Italy and the Vatican, which is why all vehicles are checked at the borders of Vaticano. . .

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