The German government plans to end its global travel warning in mid-June and permit holidays in many European destinations this summer under certain conditions.
After a video conference with colleagues from 10 popular EU destinations on Monday, German foreign minister Heiko Maas said the countries had agreed on a "coordinated and gradual" approach to opening their borders for international visitors. These are Austria, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Slovenia, Croatia, Greece, Bulgaria, Malta and Cyprus.
However, it is still unclear what kind of quarantine arrangements German visitors might have to undergo in these destinations, most of which currently have 14-day quarantine periods for any international arrivals. In addition, travel arrangements for airports, airlines, ground transport and hotels also need to be clarified before cross-border leisure travel can resume properly.
Major Mediterranean destinations where German visitors play an important role are taking different approaches to relaunching their tourism industries.
Italy, which has been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic, is aiming for a quick recovery and wants to re-open its border for tourists from June 3 onwards. The two-week quarantine will be lifted. Prime minister Giuseppe Conte admitted it was a "calculated risk" but stressed the country’s tourism industry "cannot wait for a vaccine".
Greece plans to follow soon afterwards and welcome international tourists from the start of July onwards. The country’s beaches have already re-opened with strict social distancing measures, bars and restaurants are due to follow on May 25, and then hotels on June 1. Foreign minister Nikos Dendias declared: "Freedom of movement within the country will be restored, our hotels are preparing to re-open, the beaches are accessible again and archeological sites are re-opening again to the public."
Turkey also wants to welcome foreign tourists again next month and hotels are implementing detailed governmental 'safe tourism' concepts at present.