Whether at the sea in Croatia or in the Austrian mountains: If the trend in the number of corona infections continues, many borders in Europe could be open again from June 15th. Holidaymakers and the tourism industry have hope.
Vienna / Rome (dpa) - Freedom of travel within the EU should gradually return. The federal government is currently preparing an end to the global tourist travel warning for 31 European countries as of June 15 if the development of the corona pandemic permits.
According to the plan, the warning is to be replaced by individual travel information that shows risks for each individual country. In addition to Germany's 26 partner countries in the European Union, these include Great Britain, which has left the EU and the four countries in the Schengen area that are not subject to border controls, which are not members of the EU: Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Whether the summer vacation takes place, however, should also depend on the regulations of the countries themselves. An overview:
AUSTRIA: If you travel to Austria on June 15th, you should already be able to see a lot of the well-known holiday experience of previous years. Gastronomy has already made a fresh start, even if some of the innkeepers are not yet satisfied with the sales. The hotel industry now follows on Friday. In addition, all leisure facilities are allowed to open again and cultural events are allowed again with a little caution. A full theater does not initially await holidaymakers in Austria, but the guest limit will steadily increase until August. That is why the Salzburg Festival has decided to show in the anniversary year - albeit significantly less than originally planned. The restrictions are small in the hotels, no safety distance is required within a group of guests, buffets and a visit to the hotel's wellness area should also be possible.
ITALY: The Italian government and regional politicians are currently heavily promoting German holidaymakers as they make up a large proportion of the visitors. From 3 June, entry into the EU should be possible again without having to go into quarantine. South Tyrol is already vigorously courting holidaymakers, especially from Bavaria. Governor Arno Kompscher even wants to offer tourists free corona tests. The regions of Veneto and Sardinia advertise that they are "covid-free" - that is to say that the situation is under control, although of course there were also infections there. The number of cases has been falling in Italy for a long time. Lombardy has by far the most cases. For German vacationers it will be decisive whether they have to be quarantined after a holiday in Italy or when the travel warning is lifted. Italy is currently hoping for June 15th. Austria has already confirmed that German tourists who are in transit to Italy can drive through the Alpine Republic.
SWITZERLAND: Hiking and wellness yes, festivals and concerts no: In Switzerland major events such as the Festival of Classical Music in Lucerne and the Jazz Festival in Montreux have been canceled this summer. But innkeepers and hoteliers rolled up their sleeves to greet guests from Germany and elsewhere from June 15th - all with hygiene and safety concepts. Customers on cable cars, buses and trains are requested to get tickets online if possible to avoid queues at the counter. Wearing mouth and nose protection is recommended where things can get tight. There is no compulsion. The tables are spaced apart in restaurants. Hotels may offer wellness, but the following applies in swimming pools, saunas and steam rooms: one person per four square meters.
FRANCE: Large parts of tourist accommodations such as campsites or holiday homes will soon be able to reopen for holidaymakers. In the areas classified as green, this will be possible from June 2, announced French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe. The colors green, orange and red indicate, among other things, how badly the region is affected by the corona virus. Only the greater Paris area and the overseas territories of French Guyana and Mayotte are still classified as orange. There, openings of the accommodations are planned from June 22nd. Leisure activities will also be possible again in the future. In the green areas, beaches and swimming pools will reopen from June 2nd. Many were already open with strict rules - but the decision was up to the prefecture. Museums and monuments are also supposed to reopen, and masks will be mandatory. All over the country, restaurants and cafes can open again - in Paris, however, only the terraces. The interiors must remain closed. A large part of the tourist destinations in France is to reopen by the end of June.
SPAIN: After a long period of uncertainty, friends of Spain can finally start planning their summer vacation in Mallorca, on the Costa del Sol or on the Costa Blanca. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said at the weekend that his country would open its borders to foreign tourists in July. In addition, the two-week forced quarantine for all travelers will be lifted on July 1st. Despite the fairly successful fight against the virus, "safety first" still applies in the (former) Corona hotspot. "We will guarantee that the tourists will not take any risks and that they will not pose any risks to us," said Sánchez. According to the media, Madrid is negotiating with countries such as Germany, France, Great Britain and Portugal to set up so-called "security corridors".
PORTUGAL: The country wants to gradually open up to foreign tourism again. The AHP hotel association recently announced that most hotels could be open again in mid-July. The tourism authority also wants to build trust with a new hygiene seal under the motto "Clean & Safe". Tourist institutions can apply for it free of charge. Compliance with the regulations should be checked regularly. Thanks to an early response and strict measures, the country on the Atlantic was much less affected by Covid-19 than Spain, for example. Portugal is heavily dependent on tourism, which accounts for around 15 percent of its economic output. In 2019, the holiday areas booked 27 million guests.
GREECE: Athens has announced plans to restart tourism from abroad. By May 31, the Greek pandemic crisis team is to announce the list of countries from which tourists can arrive without having to go into a two-week quarantine. The number of corona infections is important, said Tourism Minister Charis Theocharis. He expressed the hope that Germany would also be there. "We believe, want and hope so," said the Greek Tourism Minister. First of all, there will be flights from abroad to Athens on June 15th. From July 1st, all regional airports are also to be opened for flights from abroad. A corona check will be carried out randomly at the Greek airports after landing from abroad, Athens said.
NETHERLANDS: The Holland vacation is possible again. Bungalow parks are already gradually opening their gates and holiday apartments are being rented out again. From July 1st, all campsites and holiday parks are to be reopened. So far, this was only limited. For example, showers and toilets on campsites had to remain closed. The sanitary facilities will also reopen on July 1st on beaches and in nature parks. Museums can again receive visitors from June 1st - provided they register online beforehand. Restaurants, cafes, beach pavilions and pubs can each serve a maximum of 30 guests. From July up to 100 guests are allowed.
BELGIUM: Belgium is carefully groping its way through the corona restrictions - but still controls its borders. This also applies to the border crossings to the German-speaking community in the east of the country. All entry into the country that is not absolutely necessary is prohibited, the same applies to travel abroad. There is great displeasure about this, especially in East Belgium. The measures were announced in March to June 8. They should only be relaxed in consultation with the respective neighboring country and if the virus situation on both sides of the border is comparable. The North Sea beaches in the north of the Kingdom, the Belgian capital Brussels with the EU institutions and Wallonia with the Ardennes are popular with tourists.
GREAT BRITAIN: Great Britain is currently not a popular holiday destination for tourists from abroad. It will probably stay that way for the time being. The government plans to introduce a two-week quarantine for all travelers entering the country from June 8. Those who do not adhere to self-isolation must face a fine of £ 1,000. Travelers from Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands are to be exempted from the quarantine. Each part of the country - i.e. England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - also has its own rules in the fight against the pandemic. All restaurants and hotels in England are closed, but day trips - for example to the coast and in national parks - can be made.
DENMARK: Denmark will reopen its borders, closed in the Corona crisis, from June 15th to tourists from Germany, Norway, Iceland and Scandinavia. This was announced by Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen in Copenhagen on Friday. Denmark was one of the first countries in Europe to fight Corona on March 14th. Since then, tourists and other foreigners without a specific entry reason have not been able to enter the country. Frederiksen had already announced that the government would present a plan "for a controlled and gradual reopening of summer tourism" by May 29 at the latest. Anyone who owns a summer house in Denmark as a German or wants to visit his partner in the country can already enter again.
SWEDEN: Many Swedish holidaymakers are likely to depend on Danish developments. Because, for example, if you want to travel to Sweden by car, you usually drive via Denmark. An alternative can be the arrival by ferry from Kiel, Rostock or Travemünde, the routes are still used. There are currently hardly any flights from Germany to Stockholm or Gothenburg and if so, only from Frankfurt. In addition, there is a temporary entry ban in Sweden until June 15 - this does not apply to countries in the EU and the European Free Trade Association.
NORWAY: With a summer vacation in the Norwegian fjords it should be difficult at the current state. The Norwegian borders have been tight for foreigners for no specific reason for over two months. Norwegians are allowed to return to their home country, but must first be quarantined for ten days. It was only in mid-May that the government announced that holidaymakers in Norway could expect the entry ban to continue until August 20. The government announced on Friday that at least Danes can travel to Norway from June 15. Later you want to see in Oslo whether you could open the borders for travelers from "individual other nearby European countries". The status for German vacationers remains: wait and see.
ICELAND: The heavily tourism-dependent island in the North Atlantic plans to ease its restrictions on international travelers by June 15. So far, everyone who comes to Iceland has been quarantined for two weeks. However, the Icelandic government will soon offer an alternative to this: In future, Icelandic holidaymakers should also be given the opportunity to have the corona virus tested instead of quarantine upon arrival. A decision should be made at the end of May. It is also planned that tourists will have to download and use a tracing app that can be used to better track infection chains.
TURKEY: Turkey hopes to attract tourists again from mid-June and prepares airports, beaches and hotels. Local media reported on a document from the civil aviation authority, which stipulates, among other things, that everyone should wear a mask. Those who do not travel but only say goodbye or receive travelers are also no longer allowed to enter the airport building, but have to wait outside. There are exceptions only for people who cannot manage without a companion. International flights of the semi-public company Turkish Airlines are scheduled to resume on June 10, domestic flights on June 4. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism in Ankara has issued a catalog of "hygiene instructions", which provides for hotels, for example, minimum distances between poolside loungers or individually packaged towels. The state news agency Anadolu showed pictures of the well-known Konyaalti beach in Antalya, on which lying areas for visitors are demarcated with ropes. According to Anadolu, hotels will also use thermal imaging cameras to determine whether guests or employees have a fever. A government certification program for hotels, restaurants and other businesses is also underway.
CYPRUS: Tourists and travelers from 19 countries will be able to fly to the tourist island of Cyprus without a quarantine from June 20th. Vacationers from 13 of these countries can fly to Cyprus without corona tests. These are travelers from Germany, Austria, Malta, Greece, Israel, Bulgaria, Finland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Norway, Denmark and Hungary. If you want to enter Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Croatia and Estonia, you have to submit a corona virus test to take a holiday in Cyprus. This also applies to the two main countries from which tourists travel to Cyprus: Great Britain and Russia. Travel from these countries is initially not allowed, Perdios said.
CROATIA: The country heavily dependent on tourism on the Adriatic Sea with its long, bay-rich coast and the many islands can hardly wait for the European borders to finally open up. Croatia once again allows citizens to enter the country without justification. Previously, travelers on the border had to provide accommodation or confirmation of property or boat ownership in Croatia. The easing also affects the citizens of nine other EU countries: Austria, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. In future, travelers from these countries will only have to explain at the border where they will be and how they can be reached. This should enable them to be found when there are new corona infections in their environment. To avoid long waiting times, vacationers can download a form from the website "entercroatia.mup.hr".
SLOVENIA: The EU country between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea has allowed EU citizens to enter with a booking confirmation without corona tests and quarantine requirements since May 26th. Business travelers and property owners from the EU are also welcome. In addition, citizens from the EU and third countries can travel through the small country in transit. This benefits those German vacationers who want to drive their own car to Croatia and have to travel through Slovenia. The country itself has a 46-kilometer section on the Adriatic with a well-developed tourist infrastructure. Hotels with fewer than 30 rooms have reopened on May 18. There is still no decision in this regard for larger castles. There are still restrictions for the beach operation: You can swim and surf, but not lie in the sun on the beach.
CZECH REPUBLIC: There is not yet a fixed timetable for reviving the tourism business, but intensive negotiations are ongoing with neighboring countries. Prime Minister Andrej Babis has made a U-turn and now says it would be great if the borders to Germany and Austria could open in mid-June. Germans traditionally make up the largest group of foreign tourists - in 2019, more than two million overnight guests from the Federal Republic were counted. The old town of Prague, usually a magnet for people from all over the world, is currently almost deserted. In some hostels and hotels in the Moldovan metropolis, the homeless find temporary accommodation. When the borders open again, travelers come across a country that has largely been spared the corona virus.
BULGARIA: The holiday country on the Black Sea is gearing up for a summer season under Corona requirements. Bulgaria is one of the countries that are relatively unaffected by the coronavirus pandemic. "Bulgaria and our Black Sea coast will be among the (Corona) safest places in Europe," stressed Health Supreme Inspector and member of the Sofia Crisis Unit, Angel Kunchev, regarding the upcoming summer season opening for foreign tourists. It should start in June or at the latest on July 1st. On the long bathing beaches, the deck chairs are already spaced apart. Dosing dispensers with disinfectants should be standard. The hotels are already accepting domestic tourists. But Bulgaria's tourism is heavily dependent on international flights, about which there is still no clarity.
POLAND: The country will hold on to border controls with other EU countries until June 12th. Foreigners are not allowed in. So far, exceptions apply to people with a permanent residence permit, truck drivers and diplomats. Hotels and shopping centers have reopened on May 4th. Restaurants and cafés are also allowed to open again.
EGYPT: Not Europe, but a popular travel destination for Europeans. It is unclear when normality will return to resorts such as Hurghada and Sharm el Sheikh. Hotels are now allowed to reopen for local vacationers with 25 percent occupancy and from June 1st with 50 percent occupancy. Among other things, the operators must provide disinfectants at the entrance and disinfect guests' luggage on arrival and departure. Experts check these conditions and issue a certificate for which around 170 hotels have so far applied. At the airport in Cairo, new thermal imaging cameras are also to check whether travelers have a fever. The borders are still tight for holidaymakers from abroad.
Questions about the certification program
Corona map of Johns Hopkins University