It’s good news for planning a trip to France in the summer–the EU has announced plans for a “progressive and partial” reopening of borders from July 1st onwards.
Whilst many EU countries are currently in the process of opening borders to each other within the bloc, the idea would be to reopen external borders at the end of the month.
The EU commission’s vice-president Josep Borrell announced on Wednesday that plans would be unveiled in the next few days.
A woman visits Chateau de Versailles near Paris, for its reopening day on June 6, 2020 after weeks of closure following the lockdown measures.
A woman visits Chateau de Versailles near Paris, for its reopening day on June 6, 2020 after weeks … [+] AFP via Getty Images
From this date, people should be able to travel freely across all EU bloc countries, once they are inside. For example, Austria will reopen its border with Italy on June 16. Spain will reopen its borders with France and Portugal on July 1 and end its quarantine for international travellers.
Switzerland will reopen its borders to all EU and Schengen countries on July 15 but people will obviously only be able to travel to these countries if the countries in question have also opened their borders. Euronews reported a country-by-country breakdown of which borders will open.
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From June 8 to June 29 [at least], the U.K. imposed a two week quarantine for people coming into the country–prompting France to do the same, although according to The Local, the quarantine on the French side is voluntary, has many exemptions and is likely to be scrapped once the U.K. does the same. The U.K. government plans to review quarantine from France on June 29.
France has never closed its borders but it has demanded une attestation de déplacement internationale (an international travel certificate) which is only available for special healthcare workers or cross-border workers or for people whose permanent residence is in France and they were trying to get home.
On May 11, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe lifted the 1 km restriction on travelling in France and replaced it with a 100 km restriction. On May 28, this was lifted and now travelling is possible on an unlimited basis within France.
Orly airport which was shut down on April 03, 2020
Orly airport which was shut down on April 03, 2020 Getty Images
As 95% of hotels lay closed, and 98% of the tourist sector dormant Philippe announced on May 14, that people in France could travel within France over the summer allowing many to finally plan a holiday, even if it wasn’t the one originally envisaged.
In July, France’s main train operator, SNCF, plans to relaunch its buffet car service–it has already taken away the need to sit on every other seat, meaning that all seats in its carriages can now be full when the train leaves (buses, trams and metros are still operating a policy of using every other seat). Masks are still obligatory on all public transport.
A spokesman for the American Embassy in Paris said that they are advocating that for the time being, people shouldn’t travel. He said they supported the current social media campaign across all foreign embassies, “Adventure can wait. Stay home. Stay safe.”
It remains to be seen when the border between the EU and the U.S. will reopen.
The EU Reopens Its Borders; Key Dates For Traveling To France