On Monday, June 15th expires the deadline which the European Commission recommended to open internal borders after the coronavirus pandemic. Despite it, countries are not in a hurry to lift the restrictions completely. How Germany and the neighboring countries are opening their borders in the coming weeks?
A few months of lockdown seemed to change the world forever. No matter how everything goes on as usual and people gradually return to their normal life. Europe is quietly moving away from the prohibitions associated with the pandemic of the Coronavirus. In the number of countries that have opened their borders, is Germany.
From June 16th entry into Germany by car will be free again: citizens of the EU and Switzerland will not need to pass checks and measure the temperature at the border. This was announced by Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer at a press conference in Berlin. The reason for such adjustments was the improvement of the epidemic situation. “The restrictions will gradually decrease until they are completely stopped. This means that freedom of movement will be fully restored in Europe”, the politician says. He also expressed hope that all travel restrictions within the EU will be lifted by the end of June. However, there are still restrictions on the entry of people from third countries.
On the night of June 16th, Germany opens borders and relaxes restrictions for travelers from most EU countries, the UK, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. The date for opening the border for residents of Sweden has not yet been determined. Passengers entering Germany are required to confirm their identity and provide contact information. Only people arriving from a country with a high infection rate will be recommended to observe quarantine.
In fact, Germany has land borders with Denmark in the North, Poland and the Czech Republic in the East, Austria and Switzerland in the South, France, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands in the West. Let’s look through what is going on in these countries:
Starting June 15th the borders of Denmark will be open exclusively to tourists from Germany, Iceland and Norway. But before the trip, tourists must have the document which says that they intend to spend at least six nights in Denmark. This does not work only to Copenhagen - foreigners can come to the capital for a walk, but will have to leave it for the night. Tourists from other European countries will not be allowed to visit Denmark until the end of the summer. Tourists with clear signs of illness (cough, fever, etc.) will not be allowed to cross the border. Restaurants, cafes and shopping centers in Denmark operate in compliance with hygiene and distance requirements.
On May 15th Luxembourg opened the border with Germany. The ban on the entry of third-country nationals into Luxembourg is planned to remain until July 1st.
The border of the Netherlands is open for visitors from EU countries, the Schengen area and the UK. But tourists from Sweden and the UK must be quarantined for 14 days upon arrival in the Netherlands. All entrants must confirm the reservation of housing in the Netherlands, otherwise they may be detained at the border. There are restrictions on the number of visitors in public places, so tourists are advised to reserve a table in a restaurant in advance. When visiting, they may be asked if they have symptoms of a cold.
Starting June 15th, Belgium will allow people from other EU countries, Great Britain and four other Schengen countries (Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway) who are not members of the EU to enter. But many restrictions regarding the travel industry will continue to apply. For example, hotels are ordered to close at one in the morning, strict requirements for social distance have been introduced in bars and restaurants, and nightclubs will not open until the end of summer.
From June 15th, France will open borders for residents of the EU countries, as well as for visitors from Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican. All those arriving in France from Europe, with the exception of travelers from the UK and Spain, will be exempted from compulsory two-week quarantine. They will still be sent to isolation for two weeks. France plans to begin the gradual opening of external borders for other tourists from July 1st. Shops, restaurants, bars, museums, beaches and parks in France are allowed to resume work.
The Czech Republic, which is preparing to open borders for residents of the UK, the EU and the Schengen area since June 15th, divided the countries into three groups according to the traffic light system - with a high risk of infection ("red"), with medium ("orange") and safe ("green"). Foreigners from the “orange” and “red” countries will have to pass the COVID-19 test to enter the Czech Republic. Lists of countries by level of risk are updated once a week.
Museums and monuments, zoos, theaters, cinemas and circuses can work, but are required to limit the number of visitors.
Starting from Monday 15th of June, Switzerland will open borders for tourists from the European Union, Great Britain, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Entrants will not be quarantined. All that is required of them is to observe hand hygiene and the rules of social distance, as well as wear a mask in public places. The Swiss government plans to lift restrictions on all Schengen countries by July 6th. Starting June 6, pools, zoos, theaters and cinemas, night clubs opened in Switzerland. Camping and cable car rides in the mountains are allowed.
Since June 13th, Poland has allowed tourists from the EU and Switzerland to enter without mandatory self-isolation upon arrival. The hotels, restaurants, bars, cafes and shops resumed their work.
Since June 4th, Austria has opened borders with Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Hungary. People from these countries do not need to provide a medical certificate confirming the absence of coronavirus or go to quarantine upon arrival to enter Austria. From June 16, free entry will be available to tourists from all other EU countries, except for residents of Sweden, Spain and Portugal, as well as the UK - for them the requirement for a certificate or quarantine remains. Austria is still closed to citizens of other countries. Restaurants and museums in Austria opened on May 15th. Hotels have been operating since May 29th.
In addition, almost all federal states still have a rule that quarantines all those who move from the EU to a community where the number of new infections in the last seven days exceeds 50 cases per 100,000 people.
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