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German-Austrian border to reopen in mid-June

German-Austrian border to reopen in mid-June

German-Austrian border to reopen in mid-June

After being closed for two months to curb the spread of coronavirus, the border between Germany and Austria will reopen on June 15. This was announced by the Austrian government on Wednesday morning.

Austria to open border with Germany on June 15

“From June 15, the opening of the border between Germany and Austria will be possible,” Tourism Minister Elisabeth Köstinger confirmed on Wednesday, adding that border restrictions will begin to be relaxed as early as May 15 to allow business trips and family visits.

She said that the German and Austrian Chancellors, Angela Merkel and Sebastian Kurz, spoke on Tuesday evening and agreed to a “gradual opening” of the border. Both nations now consider their coronavirus outbreaks to be under control and have begun lifting coronavirus restrictions - although Germany’s worldwide travel warning will remain in place until June 14.

EU Commission to recommend reopening internal borders

On Wednesday, the EU Commission is expected to present its recommendations for reopening borders across the EU. Despite the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the EC is keen to make summer holidays within the EU possible. “We will definitely have a tourist season this summer, but with security measures and restrictions”, EU Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni told the Süddeutsche Zeitung

The EC is expected to call for a gradual reopening of internal borders between mutually low-impacted member states - meaning that if Austria opens its border with Germany, it must also open its other borders with Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Czechia, if the health situation in these countries is considered stable. 

The Austrian tourism industry is heavily dependent on German holidayers, who accounted for 37,4 percent of the 79 million overnight stays in Austria during the summer season of 2019. From this Friday, all catering establishments in Austria will be allowed to reopen, followed by hotels and other accommodation facilities on May 29.

Abi

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Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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