Europe inches its way towards opening up tourism

COVID-19 Informer: Europe inches its way towards opening up tourism

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Photo: Shutterstock

Photo: Shutterstock

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Our COVID-19 Informer will keep you up to date with everything you need to know today.

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As Europe and America head into summer, northern hemisphere governments are starting to discuss how to salvage what is traditionally high tourist season.

The US is on track to surpass 100,000 coronavirus deaths in the next few days while Europe has registered more than 169,000 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

But for those with a European passport, travel within Europe could open up as soon as mid-June.

In Germany, domestic tourists will be allowed to return on Monday to the country's Baltic Sea coast and to hotels in Berlin.

However, it has seen another 67 people test positive to coronavirus following a Baptist church service in Frankfurt, bringing the total cases to 107 from that service. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany has risen to 178,281, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases indicated on Sunday.

In France, which has seen its lowest daily increase since it went into lockdown, families headed to the beach at La Grande Motte on the Mediterranean, where they could swim and sunbath with eight-square-metre spaces which were marked off with ropes and wooden stakes to keep people apart. Reservations were required, with a two-day waiting list already in place.

Other beaches in France have also reopened, but only for exercise.

Staying in France, and from Monday local time, its border restrictions will be relaxed with migrant workers and family visitors from other European countries allowed to enter.

But France is calling for a voluntary 14-day quarantine for people arriving from Britain and Spain, because those countries imposed a similar requirement on the French.

Italy, which recorded 50 new deaths against the 119 the day prior, plans to open regional and international borders on June 3 in a bid to boost tourism, is only now allowing locals back to beaches in their own regions - with restrictions.

Spain says it won't reopen for foreign tourists until July, but in a move to boost the economy, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez encouraged Spaniards to start planning for domestic holidays in late June.

Beachside communities in England urged Londoners and others to stay away, despite the rules easing to allow people to drive any distance for exercise or recreation.

The southern coastal city of Brighton said: "Wish you were here - but not just yet." Wales kept up its "Later" tourism campaign, reminding people that its hotels, restaurants and tourist sites are still closed.

At home, Tasmanian, NSW and Queensland children return to the classroom today.

In Tassie, Kindergarten to Year Six students, along with Year 11 and 12 students, will resume face-to-face learning while children in Years 7 to 10 will join them in a few weeks, on June 9.

The ACT is continuing a gradual return with students in Years 3, 4 and 10 getting back to school today, leaving only Years 5, 6, 8 and 9 to return on June 2.

Victorian kids in prep to Year 2 and Years 11 and 12 will return tomorrow, with the other years returning on June 9.

Students are already back in school in South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

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The story Europe inches its way towards opening up tourism first appeared on The Canberra Times.

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