EU countries ease coronavirus travel restrictions | News | DW | 15.06.2020
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EU countries ease coronavirus travel restrictions

Germany and France were among those to reopen borders. But the right to travel will depend on where you live and where you are going. DW has the overview of what's happening where on Monday.

Watch video 01:32

German-French border reopens after three months: DW's Bernd Riegert reports

Several European countries reopened their borders for EU travelers on Monday after nearly three months of coronavirus restrictions and lockdowns. 

The move comes a week after European Union home affairs commissioner, Ylva Johansson, told member states they "should open up as soon as possible."

Nearly every country has its own timetable and set of travel rules. Here is an overview of some of the changes happening Monday:

Germany

As of midnight, travel warnings for most European countries and controls at the border expired. Travelers from neighboring countries will no longer have to prove a valid reason for entering the country.

However, warnings remain in effect for Spain, Finland, Norway and Sweden.  

German passport holders are still advised to avoid non-essential travel abroad, except to the countries cleared as of Monday. 

Read more: Opinion: There's no place like home

Watch video 02:44

Destination Germany: Tourist industry ready to welcome guests

France

France will open its borders to all arrivals from the EU and nations that fall under the border-free Schengen zone. People arriving in the country from within Europe will not be put under quarantine. However, travelers from Britain will face the same two-week confinement that is mandatory for visitors to the UK. 

Spain

Spain, which will reopen its borders for EU visitors on June 21, is allowing thousands of Germans to fly to the Balearic Islands for a two-week trial run from Monday. The travelers will not be required to undergo the 14-day quarantine.  

Read more: Coronavirus dampens Germans' appetite for travel

Austria

Austria is ending quarantine requirements and virus testing for arrivals from EU countries and non-EU Nordic states. Travel restrictions remain in effect there for Sweden, Spain, Portugal, and the UK and a warning is still in place for Lombardy, a coronavirus hotspot in Italy.

Switzerland

Switzerland will allow entry to people from all EU countries as well as the UK. It will also relax restrictions for Lichtenstein, Norway, Iceland and non-EU countries that are part of the European Free Trade Association with Switzerland.

Greece

Greece's two main airports in Athens and Thessaloniki are reopening to travelers from 29 countries. Arrivals from regions badly hit by the coronavirus, which include the Paris region, Madrid, and Italy's Lombardy region, will be required to spend their first night in a designated hotel. 

Read more: Full speed ahead: Italy reopens borders

Nordic countries

Denmark will open its borders only for those from Germany, Norway and Iceland — provided they can prove that they are staying for at least six nights.

Most restrictions in Norway remain effect, however from Monday unrestricted travel will be allowed from Denmark, Iceland, Finland, the Faroe Islands, and Greenland. Restrictions remain in place for Sweden. 

Finland will allow entries from Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. 

Iceland will begin allowing coronavirus tests for travelers (children are excluded) as an option in place of a 14-day quarantine. 

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic will allow free travel between several EU countries, but will employ a traffic light system that will bar entry for travelers from "orange" or "red" countries like Portugal and Sweden. Arrivals from Sweden will be required to show a negative coronavirus test or to self-quarantine, as will travelers from Portugal and Poland's Silesia. 

What's next?

The European Commission has recommended a gradual lifting of travel restrictions after June 30 for non-EU citizens seeking to travel to Europe.

kp/rt (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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