Free travel in the EU should be possible again by mid-June – said Interior Minister Horst Seehofer. In several countries, border controls will be cut back on Saturday, May 16, and in some cases even completely canceled. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas announced a relaxation of the international travel warning. So will it soon be possible to go abroad again? Basically, the holiday as we know it from before the corona pandemic – full beaches, crowds at the breakfast buffet or similar gatherings of people – will very likely not be possible this year.
Where exactly can I enter and when – and what regulations then apply to vacationers in the respective country? TRAVELBOOK explains how 14 popular holiday countries in Europe are doing.
At the border with Denmark, controls are also to be stopped soon. However, Seehofer wants to wait until the Danish government has positioned itself, says the NDR. Danish Minister of Justice Nick Haekkerup has already expressed concerns that opening it too quickly could stop the positive development of the spread of the corona virus.
Nevertheless, it is currently being considered that restaurants and cafés in Denmark will reopen on May 18, with hotels to follow in mid-June.
Here the border will remain tight until June 12th. Holidaymakers are not allowed to enter – although hotels and shopping centers have been open since May 4th. In a further step to end the lockdown, restaurants and cafés may reopen from next Monday (May 18). However, there must be a minimum distance of two meters between the tables.
The borders are also tight. Entry to the Czech Republic is currently only possible if it has been registered and a negative corona test is submitted. With regard to entry requirements, Prague is currently considering easing the situation for cross-border commuters.
Restaurants and cafes are expected to open here at the end of May.
From Saturday (May 16), only random checks are to be carried out on the border with Austria; on June 15, the border will open completely again. Important tourist facilities such as museums, mountain railways and amusement parks are also expected to reopen in the next few weeks. As of Friday (May 15), this also includes Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, which was once inhabited by Empress Sisi. However, visitors must wear mouth-nose protection.
It is still unclear what will happen to the cultural scene. Theater, concerts, festivals – whether, when and under what conditions they may take place again is not yet clear.
The border with Switzerland is also set to reopen from June 15th. However, the condition is that the pandemic development remains positive. Switzerland’s borders with Austria and France will also be opened – however, the border with Italy remains tight.
The border with France will also be fully open again on June 15 and will only be checked sporadically until then. But holidaymakers shouldn’t be too happy – there is still no opening date for hotels, restaurants and cafés. It will only be decided at the end of May.
Regional authorities decide which beaches on the Mediterranean, Atlantic and North Sea reopen. Two beaches for swimming and fishing have already opened in the Loire-Atlantique department in western France; others in the north and south of the country are to follow. Attention: There is still a travel ban for the Mediterranean island of Corsica – no tourists are to enter there for the time being.
Even with sights such as the Eiffel Tower, it is unclear when tourists can visit it again. Large museums like the Louvre in Paris are unlikely to open their doors until September.
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There are still no border controls at the German-Belgian border, but there is no problem with entry. After strong criticism, the ZDF reports that it is now ready to open the borders under certain conditions. On the one hand, the epidemiological situation in the neighboring country must be comparable; on the other hand, the neighboring state must also agree to allow Belgians to enter the country.
Belgium wants to further relax its Corona requirements on Monday (May 18), then e.g. open markets with up to 50 stalls again. Museums and zoos are again allowed to receive visitors, but tickets have to be ordered by phone or online to avoid the gathering of people. Restaurants may open at the earliest on June 8, cafes and bars may open later. Cultural, sporting or tourist events are prohibited until June 30th.
On Saturday (May 15th), the border with Luxembourg is to be completely reopened – as Germany’s first neighboring country. Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn welcomed this decision and said that Luxembourg has been campaigning for the federal government to lift the measures introduced since the crisis began, the reports SWR.
It is not yet clear what the new regulation will look like in the face of pandemic control. Germany and Luxembourg want to work out a common approach in the coming days.
Holidays in the Netherlands are possible again. Apartments are already rented out again, and from June 1st all campsites and holiday parks will be fully open again. Restaurants, cafés, beach pavilions and pubs will also open on the cut-off date, but initially with a limited capacity of a maximum of 30 guests. Museums can again receive visitors from June 1st – provided they register online beforehand.
Entry from Germany is possible without any problems – there are no border controls or quarantine rules. But: If you are planning a vacation, you should inform yourself about the local protective measures and guidelines – locally, for example, if there is an excessive rush Beaches are blocked.
It is still in the stars when Germans can travel to Italy again. Hotels open again in South Tyrol at the end of May – Italy is still a risk area for Germany. Italy’s neighboring countries Austria, France and Switzerland continue to rely on border controls. And even the Italians are currently not allowed to travel from one region to another.
What an opening of tourism would look like is also still unclear. There are currently discussions about distance rules on the beach, in the sea and for children digging in the sand.
Holidays in Spain are currently anything but safe. So far the borders have been closed; from May 15th, foreigners entering Spain have to be quarantined for two weeks. The measure should apply until the corona alarm condition ends. Even the Spaniards are currently prohibited from traveling to other regions of their country.
Nevertheless: from June they want Lufthansa and her daughter Eurowings send vacationer jets back to the Balearic island of Mallorca, which is less affected by the virus. How a vacation can look there is currently still unclear.
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In Portugal, the national borders are currently still closed, it is still being discussed how to proceed. Nevertheless, the country, which is heavily dependent on tourism, plans to open restaurants and hotels again by the beginning of June at the latest. It is also hoped that air traffic will resume soon.
How the country intends to deal with tourism after the reopening has not yet been clarified. For example, the “German wave“That the introduction of a holiday pass for which visitors could be tested before traveling on Covid-19 is currently being examined, but no distance regulations for public places, e.g. Beaches, stand firm.
In Greece, tourism should start again from July 1st. The Greeks themselves are allowed to travel within the country again from May 18. Tourism is extremely important for the country, with 33 million tourists arriving every year. The industry anticipated sales of more than 22 billion euros in 2020. Now it should not be more than two billion euros. Around 65 percent of hoteliers fear that they will not open this summer.
Nevertheless, the resorts are already preparing for Corona openings – and there will probably be some changes for travelers here too. Loungers and the umbrellas by the pool or on the beach should be about three to five meters apart. There is great debate as to whether meals should be served buffet style or at the table. So that the virus does not spread, the beds in the rooms should not be made daily.
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Relaxed entry regulations have been in force in Croatia since May 9. According to this, foreigners with three reasons can cross the border without a corona test and without quarantine requirements: if they own a property or a boat in Croatia, if they travel to a funeral or if they have the invitation of a company and they arrive at their entry there is economic interest.
The last point in particular is likely to be relevant for holidaymakers. An informal directive from the Ministry of the Interior states that the last provision also applies to vacationers who have booked accommodation in Croatia. Croatia is also heavily dependent on tourism. The country on the Adriatic is pressing vigorously for the opening of European borders.
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Here the information is still vague. The semi-governmental airline Turkish Airlines recently extended its flight stop until May 28th – nevertheless the country wants to start domestic travel from the end of May, in June it hopes to attract international vacationers. Already now, travel restrictions apply to 15 instead of 31 cities and provinces as before.
What is certain is that there will be strict corona requirements for hotels and restaurants. Distance and hygiene rules must be observed, for example, and the staff should receive pandemic training. After opening for international flights, corona tests are to be carried out at the border crossings, for example at Antalya Airport.
Consider returning home
Basically for holidaymakers from Germany – no matter which country they travel to: the return journey must also be secured. In the event that – which is possible at any time – the lockdown rules in Europe or individual countries become stricter again, each holidaymaker has to see for himself how he gets back home. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas made it clear: it will no second return campaign the Federal Republic. So if you’re flying on vacation this summer, for example, you should definitely consider and take that into account.