Germany

Germany eyes lifting borders curbs with 31 countries

Chancellor Angela Merkel's government issued an unprecedented worldwide travel warning to Germans on 17 March - and now they're seeking to lift it for 31 European countries next month.

A draft document that goes to cabinet on Wednesday recommends allowing travel to all 26 other EU states plus the UK and non-EU countries like Iceland and Norway that are in the border-free Schengen zone.

This would be a big move ahead of the summer tourist season if it goes ahead on 15 June as proposed.

A sign reading "Please keep your distance" stands next to wicker beach chairs on a beach in N Germany
AFP
Tourism makes up around 10% of the EU's economic output

Germany is already planning to open its borders fully to neighbours Austria and Switzerland on that date. But it wants the EU to agree common criteria that involve a maximum of 50 infections per 100,000 people in each country.

The EU has already given guidance on how countries should lift their borders. It's also worth pointing out that the UK is imposing a 14-day quarantine on all arrivals from 8 June.