Monday, June 15, is Europe's 'D Day' for tourism ahead of the summer season, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio commented on Tuesday on the announced date for the reopening of EU countries after three months of isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Tourism is an important, if not the largest source of income for most Mediterranean countries such as Italy, Spain, Croatia, Portugal and Greece. “We’re working to get everyone back together in Europe on June 15: June 15 is a bit like a European‘ D-Day ’for tourism,” Di Maio told public television RAI.
Germany plans to allow tourists to plan trips to 31 European countries from June 15, ending an unprecedented directive against all international travel.
Travel restrictions should be lifted not only within the EU but also for the United Kingdom and the four members of the Schengen area - Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
Italy is negotiating with Austria, which has refused to open their common border, Di Maio said, but is confident German tourists will be able to cross the border.
Croatia, Slovenia and Greece have already lifted some travel restrictions and announced plans for a larger opening based on bilateral agreements and the epidemiological situation in some countries.
Slovenia on Tuesday lifted a ban on tourists from the EU and the Schengen area, allowing anyone who has booked hotel accommodation to enter the country freely, the STA news agency reported. On May 15, Slovenia became the first European country to declare an end to the coronavirus epidemic.
Greece, with the continued recovery of its fragile tourism-dependent economy, has already released a list of countries, including non-EU countries whose citizens will be able to enter the country from June 1. They will not have to be tested for coronavirus or go into isolation.
Croatia also announced that it would start opening its borders to tourists from several EU member states on Friday.