Graphic shows contribution of travel and tourism to GDP for selected European countries.


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June 15, 2020 - Europe is taking a big step towards normality, with many countries reopening their borders to fellow Europeans after months of coronavirus closures in a bid to attract free-spending holidaymakers.

Border checks for most Europeans were dropped overnight in Germany, France and elsewhere, nearly two weeks after Italy opened its frontiers. The European Union’s 27 nations, as well as those in the Schengen passport-free travel area, which also includes a few non-EU nations such as Switzerland, aren’t expected to start opening to visitors from outside the continent until at least the beginning of next month, and possibly much later.

Even inside Europe, there is caution after more than 182,000 virus-linked deaths. Europe has had more than two million of the world’s 7.9 million confirmed infections, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

Still, the need to get Europe’s tourism industry up and running again is urgent for countries such as Spain and Greece as the economic fallout of the crisis multiplies.

In a trial run, Spain is allowing thousands of Germans to fly to its Balearic Islands starting Monday – waiving its 14-day quarantine for the group. The idea is to test out best practices in the coronavirus era.

PUBLISHED: 15/06/2020; STORY: Graphic News
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