Some European countries have announced plans to reopen their borders in a bid to kickstart summer tourism after the coronavirus pandemic.
Italy has opened its borders again; Germany is set to lift its ban on international travel, but the United Kingdom continues to quarantine foreign arrivals.
Italy allowed free movement between regions and opened its borders to European Union countries on Wednesday after almost three months of closure due to the outbreak.
The country was one of the worst infection hotspots in Europe with more than 233,500 confirmed cases and 33,500 deaths.
It has been gradually reopening after bringing the contagion under control and tourism is high on the list of priorities as it is one of the main industries for the nation.
After some opposition from regional leaders, especially in the south and on the islands, which were not as badly affected as the north, it was agreed to lift travel restrictions.
Each region can impose its own measures to screen arrivals for possible infections, including temperature checks, rapid testing, health questionnaires and recording people’s movements during their stay.
British authorities have imposed a 14-day quarantine for international arrivals but are in talks with Portugal to approve an “air bridge” between the two countries.
The scheme would mean that tourists would be able to avoid the isolation period when arriving in the UK, according to Portuguese foreign minister Augusto Santos Silva.
From 8 June anyone arriving from abroad to Britain must undergo mandatory quarantine, with the exception of travelers from Ireland.
The UK is currently the worst-affected country in Europe with more than 279,300 confirmed cases.
There was a rise in daily deaths to 324 on Monday, bringing the total to 39,369, according to official figures.
Portugal has reported more than 31,900 infections and 1,380 deaths.
Germany has also announced it will lift its blanket travel ban for most European Union countries.
The country’s foreign minister Heiko Maas said the advice against international travel will be eased from 15 June for 25 of the 26 EU nations in three of the four countries in the Schengen zone.
The order against leaving the country has been in place since mid-March.
There have been more than 183,800 confirmed cases and 8,500 deaths in the country, which has been easing restrictions after bringing its infection rate under control.