Each European Union member has loosened the lockdown and closure of its borders in a different way. DW also saw how countries in Europe decided to reopen their borders.
As countries in Europe begin to loosen lockdown restrictions, many hope that the tourism sector, which has been losing money. Will be able to recover soon with the reopening of borders between countries. The following are some plans by European countries regarding tourism ahead of the summer holidays:
Wednesday (5/14), the German Ministry of the Interior said that the border with Austria. Switzerland and France will begin to open on Saturday (5/16), but under tightly controlled conditions.
The German government still set June 15 as a date for overall border easing for inter-EU travel.
Germany also still has an official warning that citizens do not travel outside the European Union until June. Until now, there has been no information about when the German government will allow its citizens to travel on a large-scale international.
Just like Germany, Austria has also set June 15 as the official date for the resumption of borders with European Union countries. However, on Tuesday (12/05) the Austrian government announced that two crossings to Hungary would be opened on Wednesday (05/13). The reason is, many difficulties are experienced by residents who live on one side of the border, but work daily on the other side of the border.
Austria will also open its borders for traffic from Germany on Friday (05/15), state officials said. Austrian mountain tourism is very dependent on visitors from Germany. Mountain resorts in Autria are indeed very popular among neighboring countries. Reportedly, a large group of people returning to Germany after skiing in Austria were the masterminds behind the first wave of the corona virus pandemic in Germany.
In addition to opening up its traffic with Germany, Austria also hopes to soon do the same with Switzerland and its neighbors to the east.
Even so, the Asutria authority said it would continue to impose random health checks on foreigners entering their country through the border. The inspection will not be as much as this time.
France has signed an agreement with Britain that allows citizens to enter and leave the country without having to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine. It was seen as a very important economic recovery step because of the large flow of goods delivery vehicles passing through the two countries.
Not only that, arrivals from the Schengen open border zone, such as Switzerland, will also be released from quarantine.
Even so, France will still close most of its borders until June 15, except for people entering and leaving the country to work.
Although Italy has never technically ordered its borders to be closed. The extreme measures imposed at the airport to stop the spread of the virus plus the closure of borders imposed by neighboring countries have pretty much held back their citizens for international travel.
Tourism is the main element of the Italian economy. Under normal circumstances before the pandemic, Italy became the fifth most visited country in the world. Tourism accounts for 10% of GDP and nearly 5% of employment in Italy.
Just like Italy, Spain is also very dependent on tourism. Therefore, Spain has reopened its borders but still enforces mandatory independent quarantine rules for 14 days for anyone who comes. This new rule will come into force on Friday (05/15), and will remain in effect for the duration of a state emergency.
Currently, the emergency status will end on the 24th May, but it is predicted to be extended again.
The Portugal Tourism Board said that beaches and hotels in the country were ready to welcome tourists in mid-June. However, there are still concerns over whether tourists who come have undergone corona virus testing or not. The Portuguese government is also considering whether social distance regulations on the coast will still be in force or not.
If the cancellation of the tourist season is carried out as a whole this year, the Portuguese economy can contract up to 6%.
Although Norway is not a member of the European Union, it is a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) which has moved together with Europe in several aspects in dealing with a pandemic.
On Wednesday (13/05), travelers from European Union countries (including Britain). Iceland and Liechtenstein have been allowed to enter Norway to work or visit families who live in the country. The Norwegian government’s decision is less related to tourism, but rather focuses on allowing seasonal workers to enter Norway.
When other countries began to loosen control of their borders, Poland announced that tight closure would remain in effect until June 12. Even so, for diplomats. Foreigners with a residence permit in Poland, as well as professional truck drivers will be allowed to pass special checkpoints starting Wednesday.
Like most European Union member states, Poland also has not provided an indication when international travel from outside Europe is allowed to return to normal.
Croatia’s Minister of Health Gari Cappelli in an interview with the state broadcasting agency, HRT, said that tourists from neighboring Slovenia will be allowed to cross the border in the coming days. According to him, the epidemiological situation of the country was similar to that of Croatia.
German tourists, who often visit many Croatian islands in the Adriatic Sea, will be allowed to visit Croatia no later than June 15, Cappelli said.
The Croatian government has negotiated an agreement with Slovenia to free tourists from quarantine for 14 days. Cappelli hopes similar agreements can be established with other EU countries.
Greece is one of the countries with the lowest infection and death rates from COVID-19 in Europe. A very strict locking action that was put in place early was believed to be the cause. In some cases, citizens are not even allowed to go grocery shopping, and instead bring food supplies for them.
As a result, Greece emerged as a ‘healthier’ country from the crisis compared to its neighbors. Even so, the government is still wary of opening the country’s borders.
In the coming weeks, Greece plans to open six posts on its northern border for tourists. The country has petitioned the European Commission to draw up official guidelines for the entire bloc on how to deal with tourism in the summer.