Some member nations of the European Union are starting to emerge from COVID-19 lockdowns and remove travel restrictions in the hope that some of the summer tourist season can be saved. Non-European tourists will need to wait until at least June 15 – when E.U.’s external border closure is set to expire.
Initial steps for travel within the E.U would see seasonal workers permitted to cross in order to restart economies. This would be followed by the removal of restrictions between countries that share a similar degree of control of the virus. All internal borders will reopen once transmission of COVID-19 is sufficiently reduced.
The UK has recently revealed plans to quarantine those coming into the country, apart from those arriving from Ireland. Matt Hancock, England’s health department secretary has told citizens not to expect “big, lavish international holidays” this year. There may still be hope for travel between regions however with exemptions like the one being applied to the quarantine policy already being announced.
“Travel bubbles” have already emerged between the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania which allows residents to move freely between them. It seems that all members of the E.U. will be able to make their own decisions when it comes to loosening restrictions with Germany and Austria announcing they will open borders from June 15.
Greece will open its borders July 1 with all international arrivals required to enter through Athens and pass a COVID-19 test. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister has asked those wishing to visit the country not to expect a usual tourist season with solo and small-group activities set to be encouraged.
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