Europe urged to reopen internal borders to save tourism

The European Union on Wednesday called on its members to reopen their internal borders to facilitate tourism, despite the continuation of the pandemic of new coronavirus, which has caused 242 000 dead on the planet, more than 160 000 on the Old Continent, the most affected.

The European Commission seeks to prevent a sinking of the tourism sector, crucial for the EU economy since it represents 10% of its GDP and 12% of jobs, and even more so in certain southern European countries, such as Italy and Spain, very bereaved by the coronavirus.

“This is not going to be a normal summer … But if we all make an effort, we will not have to spend the summer stranded at home or the summer will not be completely lost for the tourism industry “Said the Commission's First Vice-President, Margrethe Vestager.

The European Commission wants a “concerted” and “non-discriminatory” reopening of the internal borders of the EU.

Germany – which will reopen its border with Luxembourg on Saturday – announced on Wednesday that it would lift traffic restrictions at its borders in mid-June, adding that its French, Austrian and Swiss neighbors shared this objective.

And Austria will restore 15 June free movement on its border with Germany , closed since mid-March.

“So enthusiastic”

Sign of an improvement of the situation, the German soccer championship will resume on Saturday, and its English, Spanish and Italian competitors are about to imitate it.

295 000

It is at least the number of people around the world who have been taken away by COVID – 19 up to now.

The United Kingdom, the second country in the world most bereaved by the new coronavirus (more than 33 000 dead), started a slight deconfinement on Wednesday, concerning only England.

The English can thus return to work, go sunbathing or… resume golf. “I have the impression of being a school principal who sees a lot of schoolchildren arriving, everyone is so enthusiastic”, testified to AFP Jason Pheasant, general manager of the Bigbury golf club, in the south – West of England.

Although Russia became Tuesday, according to a count of AFP, the second most contaminated country in the world (more than 242 000 case), President Vladimir Putin, whose spokesperson and Prime Minister been hospitalized, gave the green light to begin deconfinement, depending on the epidemiological situation in each region.

Mortality remains low compared to other countries, with 2212 victims officially identified, a toll that critical voices doubt.

But Moscow, the main focus of the epidemic, extended its confinement until 31 May.

Poland continued to ease its restrictions by announcing the reopening on Wednesday 18 of May hairdressers, cafes and restaurants, despite a slight increase in contamination.

Walks are again authorized on Wednesday on certain beaches of the Atlantic coast in France, where the sanctuary of Lourdes (southwest) will welcome visitors again from Saturday.

On the other hand, the 103 e Anniversary of the apparitions of the Virgin Mary, at the Catholic sanctuary of Fatima, in Portugal, took place without the usual crowd of pilgrims, during a religious ceremony reduced to the strict minimum.

Worldwide, the pandemic has affected more than 4.2 million people, according to official figures. Balance sheets are going up in several countries and appear to be grossly underestimated in others.

Faced with this health catastrophe, all countries are trying to find the difficult balance between measures aimed at halting the spread of the disease and decisions capable of reviving economies weighed down by an unprecedented crisis.

White House chief immunologist D r Anthony Fauci warned Tuesday of the consequences potentially “very serious” from too early economic recovery in the United States, the country most bereaved by COVID disease – 19 (more than 84 000 dead).

After two consecutive days of decline, the daily balance sheet has started to rise again, with almost 1900 deaths in 24 hours.

The boss of the American Central Bank, Jerome Powell, warned on Wednesday that the damage of the pandemic on the first world economy could be “lasting” and justifies emergency aid plans “expensive” but essential.

In addition to the some 2900 billion dollars of support already released, additional aid may be necessary, said Powell, while considering that the US economy “should recover to a large extent” once the pandemic is under control.

Paradoxically, even the health sector is affected by the crisis: nearly a million and a half people have lost their jobs there since March in the United States, including 135 000 in hospitals, income from the latter having been amputated by the fall in the number of patients other than those affected by COVID – 19.

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