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26 May, 2020 11:25

June 15 will be ‘LITTLE D-DAY’ for tourism in Europe after Covid-19 lockdowns – Italian FM

June 15 will be ‘LITTLE D-DAY’ for tourism in Europe after Covid-19 lockdowns – Italian FM

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio has said Rome is working with its European partners on a plan to reopen tourism and likened June 15 – the day the EU’s borders are expected to fully reopen – to a “little D-Day” for the bloc.

“We are working for us to all start over together in Europe on June 15,” Di Maio told RAI television on Tuesday, adding that June 15 will be “a little European D-Day for tourism.”

To kickstart tourism in Italy, one of the nations in Europe hardest hit by the Covid-19 outbreak, Di Maio said it will be important for all regions to be able to give “homogeneous indications to tourists” and to have the same measures in place so there is no confusion among summer visitors who may be moving between regions. 

“We must save what we can save from the summer to help our entrepreneurs,” he added.

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Italy had said earlier that its own borders will open for EU tourists on June 3 and a 14-day quarantine for foreign arrivals will be lifted. That announcement prompted criticism from Paris, with French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner saying Rome should have coordinated on dates with the rest of Europe.

While Italy is eager to reopen its critical tourism industry as soon as possible, some other governments in Europe are opting for a more cautious approach as national lockdowns begin to ease. 

Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez said Tuesday that since different EU countries have set different dates to reopen, it’s crucial that "common rules"are in place to open internal borders.

Spain, which was another of the countries most-affected by the virus, announced it will open up for tourists from July and also promised to lift a two-week quarantine requirement for overseas visitors from that time.

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