Each member state is approaching the end of its coronavirus lockdown and border closures a bit differently. DW looks at how some European countries are facing the decision to reopen their borders.
As European countries begin easing lockdown restrictions, many are hoping to recoup the losses suffered by the tourism sector by reopening borders to neighboring countries. Here is what some European countries are planning for the summer tourism season:
The Interior Ministry on Wednesday said that some border crossings with neighbors Austria, Switzerland, and France would begin opening this Saturday under tightly controlled conditions. June 15 is still set as the date to fully relax its borders to inter-EU travel.
Germany still has an official warning against traveling outside the EU in place through June, and there has been no word on when the government will give the thumbs-up to large-scale international travel.
Vienna had also given June 15 as the official date for reopening the country’s inter-EU borders — but it announced on Tuesday that two crossings into Hungary would be opened the following day due to the difficulties faced by individuals who live on one side of the border but work on the other.
Austria will also open its border to some traffic from Germany on Friday, officials said. Austrian alpine tourism relies heavily on German visitors, as its mountain resorts are very popular with the neighbors. Indeed, large groups of people returning to Germany from Austrian ski destinations was behind the first surge of the coronavirus pandemic in Germany. Vienna expects to have similar agreements with Switzerland and its other eastern neighbors soon.
Authorities have said, however, that some random health spot checks will be performed on foreigners entering the country, although fewer than are being done now.