Little by little, European countries are adapting and lowering their restrictions according to the progress of the coronavirus epidemic. After three months where containment was for the most part the rule, national borders are also reopening. Europeans can now more easily travel from one state to another. But disparities still exist between each country and bans are still in effect.
They are already accessible
Italy had given the signal on 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. Another country in a hurry to save its tourist season, Croatia also anticipated the call and reopened its borders on Thursday, just like Poland, accessible for all European citizens since Saturday.
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Many countries have chosen the “onion strategy”, opening up in recent weeks to their neighbors first, before expanding the scope. Thus, 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 an exception: Sweden remained in principle accessible to EU travelers, as did Luxembourg. Frontier workers essential to the economy have benefited from passes to go back and forth with the Grand Duchy.
They reopen on Monday
Belgium, France and Greece re-establish free movement on Monday morning with all the countries of the continent. Athens, whose economy is largely based on tourism, goes even further and invites travelers from several regions outside the EU – such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, China. To Germany and Austria, the arrival controls by road, rail or air will be lifted at midnight Monday.
Among the countries to reopen their borders, or having already done so, many of them (Hungary, Bulgaria, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Latvia …) however maintain restrictions for travelers from European destinations where the rate infection is still considered too high. Norway will open its borders to all the Nordic countries on Monday by imposing conditions that exclude at this stage almost all of Sweden, where the epidemic of new coronavirus remains lively.
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Each country has composed its more or less long list of risk areas. Sweden and the United Kingdom 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.
They are still chilly
Romania will not reopen its borders on Monday for non-nationals and does not give a specific date. Originally set to 1er July, the date of reopening of Spain to tourists was finally advanced to June 21, except at the land border with Portugal where controls will continue until 1er July.
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By “reciprocity”, France plans to continue its controls at the border with Spain in the immediate future. As part of a pilot project, the Balearic Islands will however welcome nearly 11,000 Germans from June 15. Norway will reopen its borders on Monday only to the other Nordic countries, with the exception of Sweden. Denmark is just as selective, limiting at this stage its reception to people coming from Germany, Norway or Iceland.