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The rules for travel hotspots as Europe gears up to welcome back tourists

Spain opened its borders to all vaccinated travellers on Monday as the rest of Europe prepares to welcome tourists after Covid-19 lockdowns and travel restrictions essentially scuttled the summer travel season last year. Here is a summary of the current rules for some of Europe’s tourism hotspots.

European tourism struggled last year as coronavirus lockdowns, curfews, and hotel and restaurant restrictions threatened the livelihood of many in the industry and frustrated would-be travellers. 

The summer of 2020 saw a sharp downturn in European cross-border travel, leaving the continent’s beaches, cities and monuments eerily deserted. 

>> Covid-19: A walk through a deserted Paris

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This year is gearing up to be different: Covid-19 is still far from eradicated, but virus testing is widely available, the EU’s vaccination rollout has gathered pace and the bloc will launch an EU travel pass – in either digital and paper form – to facilitate cross-border travel starting July 1. 

Some key destinations like Italy are already reporting an uptick in bookings while Spain started welcoming vaccinated visitors on Monday and is hoping to reach up to 70 percent of pre-pandemic tourism levels this year.

Tourists from countries outside the bloc – which, since Brexit, includes the United Kingdom – still face obstacles at EU borders, with European governments saying they must avoid another wave of infections even as they cautiously reopen to tourists.

“We have to reconcile freedom of mobility with the need for security,” said French Tourism Minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, echoing a sentiment felt across the EU. 

Here is a summary of the current rules in some of Europe’s tourism hotspots.

France 

France, the world’s top tourist destination, has announced a colour-coded map laying out entry protocols…

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