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13 May, 2020 13:04

Austria's Kurz says still too soon to reopen border with Italy as EU states look to ease Covid-19 travel bans

Austria's Kurz says still too soon to reopen border with Italy as EU states look to ease Covid-19 travel bans

Chancellor of Austria Sebastian Kurz has announced that his nation's border with Italy will remain shut, citing ongoing concerns about the spread of Covid-19. Austria is looking to ease restrictions with its other neighbors.

The current number of Covid-19 infections in Italy makes reopening the shared border an imprudent choice for the time being, Kurz said, according to Reuters.

Italy currently has 221,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, compared to Austria's 16,000, a tally maintained by Johns Hopkins University showed on Wednesday.

Also on rt.com ‘Europe needs a break’: EU may open borders closed by Covid-19 lockdowns for tourism as industry faces ‘grave danger’

Although the border with Italy will remain shut for inessential travel, Germany and Austria plan to fully restore travel on June 15, Austria's Ministry of Tourism announced.

Border traffic between the two nations will be eased starting this weekend. The Swiss-Austrian border will likewise be opened in mid-June. Germany is planning to lift travel restrictions with France next month.

EU states suspended open borders with their neighbors in an attempt to stop the spread of coronavirus. Austria shuttered transit with Italy on March 10, but made exceptions for trucks carrying essential goods.

Also on rt.com Germany to keep quarantine requirement in place for non-EU visitors as border control measures relaxed from May 16

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