A number of European countries timidly opened up to tourism on Monday easing border controls and implementing health protocols and restrictions for incoming travelers for the first time after the outbreak of Covid-19.
First among these – and with individual Covid-19 screening, quarantine and health rules as well as with divergent country agreements – were Greece, Belgium, France, Norway, Germany, Hungary, Bulgaria, Denmark, Austria, Slovakia, Latvia, Czech Republic, which allowed quarantine-free travel for certain countries as well as incoming arrivals subject to testing.
Spain and Romania remained closed despite the EU’s recommendation to lift internal border restrictions by June 15. Spanish authorities said they would reopen borders on June 21 for all EU and Schengen states, apart from Portugal with which borders will reopen in July.
It should be noted that the tourism sector accounts for nearly 10 percent of the EU economy, and even more so for a number of Mediterranean countries including Cyprus, Greece, Spain and Italy.
In the meantime, those wishing to visit the EU can make use of the Union’s new site and app “Re-open EU” for real-time travel info and updates.
According to Reuters, some 3.5 million people crossed internal EU borders every day before the coronavirus crisis.