in Europe, most borders reopen this Monday

On the beach of El Arenal, May 25 in Mallorca (Spain).

After three months of isolation, Europe is preparing for a disrupted or disrupted summer vacation. What will happen after June 15, the theoretical day for the reopening of borders within the European Union (EU)? For millions of Europeans, this is about resuming a normal life and enjoying a summer vacation in the sun, a form of release after months of confinement and anxiety under the threat of the pandemic.

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For the countries concerned, with economies hit hard by the virus and for which tourism is a key sector, it is above all a question of capturing the windfall of summer visitors, and doing better than its European competitors.

The return to free movement inside the Old Continent was done in a dispersed order and the map of Europe presents a mosaic of green, orange and red lights, according to the origin or the destination.

  • They are already accessible

Italy had given the signal as of June 3 by reopening to all travelers … even though most states maintained restrictions with this country which was one of the hotbeds of the pandemic in Europe. Switzerland and neighboring Austria have only agreed in recent days – and after heavy pressure from Rome – to reopen the borders with this northern Italian. An important decision when crossing the Brenner Pass in Tyrol is a major traffic route between the north and south of Europe, and therefore for many German tourists coming to Italy. Italians from Lombardy or neighboring Piedmont who want to go to Greece must undergo compulsory tests, a measure that Rome would like to see lifted as soon as possible.

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Another country in a hurry to save its tourist season, Croatia also anticipated the call and reopened its borders on Thursday, as did Poland, which has been accessible to all European citizens since Saturday.

Many countries have chosen “Onion strategy”, opening up in recent weeks to their neighbors first, before widening the traffic perimeter. So it is already possible to circulate without control in central Europe or from one Baltic country to another.

On a continent where each country had barricaded itself since mid-March, two states were exceptional: Sweden remained in principle accessible to EU travelers, as did the Luxembourg. Frontier workers essential to the economy have benefited from passes to go back and forth with the Grand Duchy.

The Britain has never closed its borders, and will therefore not have to formally reopen them on June 15. On the other hand, it has imposed since June 8 a quarantine of 14 days on all travelers arriving from abroad, including the British, to avoid the importation of new cases during the deconfinement.

Belgium, the France, the Greece restore free movement on Monday morning with all the countries of the continent. The Greece reopens its borders to the majority of tourists from the European continent but also from several corners of the globe (Australia, Japan, South Korea, China, Israel, Lebanon). With the exception especially of the American continent, whose flights could be re-established after 1er July. But beware: visitors from certain regions very affected by coronavirus, the Paris region, Madrid, Castile, Catalonia, Lombardy and Piedmont, will be subject to systematic and compulsory screening, with a first Greek night in a hotel provided by authorities. If the test is negative, the traveler will have to self-confine for 7 days. If it is positive, a quarantine under 14 days supervision will be imposed.

Read also “Phase 2” of deconfinement: cafes, borders, cinemas, schools … what can reopen and what remains closed

TowardsGermany and theAustria, checks on arrival by road, rail or air will be lifted at midnight on Monday.

Among the countries to reopen their borders, or have already done so, many of them (Hungary, Bulgaria, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Latvia…) however maintain restrictions for travelers from European destinations where the infection rate is still considered too high.

The Norway will open its borders to all the Nordic countries on Monday by imposing conditions which exclude at this stage almost all of Sweden, where the epidemic due to the new coronavirus remains acute.

Each country has composed its more or less long list of risk areas. Sweden and Great Britain are invariably included. Spain and Portugal are often added to this. Sometimes the Netherlands, Belgium, France. The lists are revised regularly. Either travel to or from these destinations is prohibited, or a negative Covid-19 screening test or 14-day isolation is required.

France warns that it will apply ” reciprocity “ to countries imposing restrictions on its nationals.

The Romania will not reopen its borders on Monday for non-nationals and will not give any specific date.

Originally set to 1er July, the reopening date ofSpain to tourists was finally brought forward to June 21, except at the land border with Portugal where controls will continue until 1er July. By “Reciprocity”, France plans to continue controls on the border with Spain immediately. As part of a pilot project, the Balearics will however welcome almost 11,000 Germans from June 15.

The Norway will only reopen its borders on Monday to other Nordic countries, with the exception of Sweden. The Denmark is just as selective, limiting at this stage its reception to people coming from Germany, Norway or Iceland.

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The World with AFP

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