Covid-19: North to South, Europe is gradually reopening its borders

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The summer holidays are gradually becoming clearer for all French people. Since May 14, they are guaranteed to be able to spend their summer holidays in mainland France and overseas from July 1. The government, through the Minister of Ecological Transition Élisabeth Borne, reminded us this Sunday: “Anyone can start booking their vacation. “

Before clarifying: “We absolutely do not invite the French to book their holidays abroad. This year, the idea is rather to spend your holidays in France. Travel agencies are preparing to help thousands of French people go abroad this summer. Paris-Orly Airport, the hub of many destinations, could reopen at the end of June. As for neighboring countries like Italy or Spain, they are counting on the tourist season to revive their economy.

In France, the new rules expected

To travel, the French will however have to wait for the new travel rules, which will be announced this week, according to Élisabeth Borne. Thursday afternoon, after a defense council, Edouard Philippe should announce the details of the new phase of deconfinement. For the moment, travel more than 100 km from his home is prohibited for tourist reasons. As for the borders, they remain closed until June 15, in the direction of entries as exits.

“If by chance the pandemic does not resume, from June 15, there could be a general relaxation” within the Schengen area, warned last week Jean-Yves Le Drian, the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Once these two rules have fallen, departures on vacation in Europe (such as welcoming tourists from the Union) can then materialize. Okay, but where to go? At present, there are still several question marks among our European neighbors.

Doors open in Spain, Italy or Greece

From June 3, Italy reopens its borders and airports to European tourists, without imposing a period of isolation. “Come and spend your holidays in Italy,” said Luigi Di Maio, head of Italian diplomacy, in a column published in the German press. The transalpine country is the most advanced on this point in Europe.

The speeches are the same in Spain and Greece, two other states dependent on tourism. European travelers will be welcome there from July 1st. Another tourist destination favored by the French: Portugal. On May 19, Prime Minister Antonio Costa assured on Twitter that “the Portuguese diaspora in France” could return this summer without a quarantine measure. An agreement to this effect has been planned between the two nations.

Other countries such as Switzerland, Slovenia, Sweden, Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium have announced that they want to reopen their borders to tourists from June 15. Always in case the sanitary situation allows it.

In Norway or the United Kingdom, isolation to be expected

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg announced on May 15 that ten days of isolation would be imposed “probably […] until August 20 “. Norway however plans to relax the rules on July 20 for travelers from certain European countries, not specified to date. The United Kingdom is also one of the destinations which, at this stage, impose a quarantine for foreign travelers. France also disliked the decision, which decided to apply the same treatment to the British arriving in France.

In Iceland, the quarantine, currently imposed, will be relaxed after June 15 and replaced by a simple Covid-19 test for all travelers. Finally, Denmark, Croatia, Austria and Hungary do not yet indicate a precise plan for tourists from non-border countries. At the gates of the European Union, Turkey keeps its closed borders until the end of June. The resumption of links with France is not yet envisaged. Most European countries are yet to make announcements in the coming days or weeks.

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