Beaches across Europe began reopening in time for an early heatwave, as several countries inched out of coronavirus lockdown, and the continent prepared for the first major league football matches in over a month.
The games played in Germany’s Bundesliga will be held in empty stadiums, with tight controls including a ban on handshaking between players. Other opening measures for travel, commerce and tourism are all tentative, with governments ready to bring back tight controls if signs of a second wave of infections appear.
The World Health Organization has warned countries ending lockdown that now should be a “time for preparation, not celebration”, to avoid a deadly winter surge in new infections.
But the changes suggest there are hopes of rescuing the summer tourism season, at least for travellers coming from countries that have had some success suppressing the virus. Italy will allow international travel from 3 June, and Greece has said it hopes to open up to foreign tourists again from July.
Austria’s borders with the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary will fully reopen on 15 June, the interior ministry said on Saturday, following a previously coordinated step to fully remove barriers on travel between Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Restrictions remain in place for transit from Italy.