Airport protocols are among measures needed to lift travel restrictions.

21-03-2020

The German foreign affairs minister, Heiko Maas, is to hold talks with his counterparts in various countries with the aim of reopening borders in order to allow tourist travel.

Maas is to seek coordinated measures with Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain. The German government wants to end restrictions on travel but provide travel alerts so that tourists will be able to assess risks in different countries. Germany will be opening its borders from 14 June.

Towards the end of April, Maas said that "we have not reached the point where we can recommend carefree travel", but he had also said earlier in April that the German government was re-evaluating the situation week by week. He has consistently called for any loosening of restrictions to be coordinated at a European level. Although the European Commission last week didn't go so far as to set an exact timeframe for reopening borders and lifting travel restrictions, it did establish a framework and guidelines by which member states can operate.

In one of the countries that Maas has identified, Portugal, a third of hotels on the Algarve are already open. The Algarve has been less affected by coronavirus than other regions of the country. The anticipation is that 75% of hotels will be open in June, which is when beaches will be open, and that all of the hotels will be open in July.

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