No one really knows when the coronavirus pandemic will end, but countries reopening their borders to tourism is at least a sign of progress. That’s especially true when those countries were among the hardest hit by the virus. Italy, once the epicenter of the virus in Europe, is planning to reopen its borders to citizens of the European Union starting on June 3.
Italy’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, acknowledged that the decision was risky, but believes the economic and social devastation of a prolonged lockdown left him with little choice.
“We’re facing a calculated risk in the knowledge that the contagion curve may rise again,” he said. “We have to accept it otherwise we will never be able to start up again.”
Italian factories and parks have been open since May 4, and on May 25, swimming pools, gyms, and sports centers will reopen. With the June 3 announcement, EU holidaymakers will not only be able to enter the country, but they also won’t be required to endure a 14-day quarantine, making the prospect of visiting much more attractive.
And Italy isn’t the only beleaguered nation opening for June tourism. Spain, also heavily affected by COVID-19, is aiming to reopen borders at the end of June, in hopes of reviving its tourism sector that accounts for 12 percent of the country’s economic output.
Transport Minister José Luis Ábalos said in a TV interview, “From late June, we’ll start the tourism activity, I hope…We must make Spain an attractive country from the health point of view.”
Currently, Spain is in the process of easing a strict lockdown, which has been in place since mid-March.