Europe Reopens Many Borders but Not to Americans, Asians

BERLIN—Europe is taking a big step toward a new normality as many countries open borders to fellow Europeans after three months of CCP virus lockdowns—but even though Europeans love their summer vacations, its not clear how many are ready to travel again.

Tourists from the United States, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East will just have to wait for now. Europe is expected to start opening up to some visitors from elsewhere next month, but details remain unclear.

The European Union home affairs commissioner, Ylva Johansson, told member nations last week that they “should open up as soon as possible” and suggested Monday was a good date.

Many countries are doing just that, allowing travel from the EU, Britain, and the rest of Europes usually passport-free Schengen travel area, which includes non-EU countries like Switzerland.

Europes reopening wont be a repeat of the chaotic free-for-all in March when panicked, uncoordinated border closures caused traffic jams that stretched for miles. Still, its a complicated, shifting patchwork of different rules. And although tourist regions are desperately counting on them, a lot of Europeans may decide to stay close to home this summer.

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Epoch Times Photo
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announces the opening of the tourist season during a news conference on the island of Santorini, Greece, on June 13, 2020. (Dimitris Papamitsos/Greek Prime Ministers Office via AP)

Thats something tourism-dependent Mediterranean countries such as Greece are keen to avoid. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis acknowledged Saturday that “a lot will depend on whether people feel comfortable to travel and whether we can project Greece as a safe destination.”

Greece has emphasized its handling of its outbreak, which saw only 183 deaths. Overall, Europe has seen more than 182,000 virus-linked deaths this year, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University that also shows Europe has had 2.04 million of the worlds 7.8 million infections.

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People visit the beach in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, on May 25, 2020. (Isaac Buj/Europa Press via AP)

Hard-hit Spain, which on Sunday moved forward its opening to European travelers by 10 days to June 21, is allowing thousands of Germans to fly to its Balearic Islands for a trial run starting Monday—waiving its 14-day quarantine for the group.

“This pilot program will help us learn a lot for what lies ahead in the coming months,” Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said. “We want our country, which is already known as a world-class tourist destination, to be recognized as also a secure destination.”

Border checks in some places have already wound down. Italy opened its borders on June 3 and towns on the German-Polish border celebrated early Saturday as Poland opened the gates. At midnight, the mayors of Goerlitz, Germany, and Zgorzelec, Poland, cut through chains on a makeshift fence that had divided the towns.

Germany, like France and others, is lifting remaining border checks on Monday and scrapping a requirement that arrivals must prove they have a good reason to enter. It also is easing a worldwide warning against nonessential travel to exempt European countries–except, probably, Finland, Norway, and Spain, where travel restrictions remain, and Sweden, where the level of new CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus infections is deemed too high.

Many German regions have reimposed a quarantine requirement for arrivals from Sweden, whose virus strategy avoided a lockdown but produced a relatively high death rate.

Czech authorities will require arrivals from Sweden to show a negative COVID-19 test or to self-quarantine—along with travelers from Portugal and Polands Silesia region.

Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo
A sign with the opening hours of the border checkpoint between Harrislee in Germany and Padborg in Denmark is displayed in front the border crossing in Harrislee, Germany, June 13, 2020. (Frank Molter/dpa via AP)

Austria is opening up Tuesday to European neighbors except Spain, PortugalRead More – Source