TBILISI(BPI)- France agreed to re-open borders with Germany by June 15. Germany and Austria reopen border for everybody on 15th June. Belgium also wants to open borders by 15 June, if the COVID outbreak allows.
The European Commission presented this week a package of guidelines and recommendations for tourists. EU Commission wants to help Member States gradually lift travel restrictions and allow tourism businesses to reopen, after months of lockdown, while respecting necessary health precautions. Ursula von der Leyen works to Save Summer 2020 and reboot Europe’s tourism. EU left the final decision to its member states to open their borders to tourists, and when their own people can travel again up to the different countries.
Belgium aims to reopen its borders to tourists by 15 June, according to Interior Minister Pieter De Crem. Schengen Area Borders have been closed since mid-March due to the coronavirus epidemic.
The aim is that, if the evolution of the infections allows it – I want to stress this explicitly – border controls will be terminated from 15 or 16 June.
Angela Merkel, German Chancellor
The French Minister of Interior has agreed with Horst Seehofer, German Interior Minister to re-open the common borders by June 15. They decided to gradually start relaxing the measures imposed at the borders to contain the pandemic.
Luxembourg will be the first country to re-open Schengen and lifts border controls starting by May 15. France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Austria and Switzerland keep restrictions and border controls until June 15.The Commission’s Tourism and Transport package includes:
- An overall strategy towards recovery in 2020 and beyond;
- A common approach to restoring free movement and lifting restrictions at EU internal borders in a gradual and coordinated way;
- A framework to support the gradual re-establishment of transport whilst ensuring the safety of passengers and personnel;
- A recommendation which aims to make travel vouchers an attractive alternative to cash reimbursement for consumers;
- Criteria for restoring tourism activities safely and gradually and for developing health protocols for hospitality establishments such as hotels.
The guidelines present general principles for the safe and gradual restoration of passenger transport by air, rail, road and waterways. The guidelines put forth a series of recommendations, such as the need to limit contact between passengers and transport workers, and passengers themselves, reducing, where feasible, the density of passengers.
The guidelines also include indications on the use of personal protective equipment such as face masks and on adequate protocols in case passengers present coronavirus symptoms. The guidelines also make recommendations for each mode of transport and call for coordination among Member States in light of re-establishment of gradual connections between them.
The EU Commission’s guidance aims to offer people the chance to get some well-needed rest, relaxation and fresh air. As soon as the health situation allows, people should be able to catch up with friends and family, in their own EU country or across borders, with all the safety and precautionary measures needed in place.