Europe, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Italy expects reciprocity from EU on reopening borders

Top diplomat calls for standardized rule that guarantees safe, uninterrupted travel for European citizens in tourism

Baris Seckin   | 04.06.2020
Italy expects reciprocity from EU on reopening borders Migrants gather at the station of Ventimiglia hoping to enter the country at the French-Italian border (Ph. Pier Marco Tacca/Anadolu Agency)

ROME 

Italy has reopened its borders as part of the final phase of easing its coronavirus lockdown and expects reciprocity from other European Union countries, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said Wednesday.   

Speaking at a joint press conference with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian, Di Maio said cooperation between Italy, Germany and France always brings good results for Europe. 

"We believe there is a need for a standardized rule that guarantees safe and uninterrupted travel for European citizens in tourism," said the top Italian diplomat, emphasizing there should be no separate actions in tourism within the EU. 

Di Maio also noted that it is "wrong" that some member states have not reopened their borders. 

Le Drian said the EU needed “good coordination” on the reopening of borders and had "no doubt that June 15 will be the date on which this second choice can be decided." 

The two foreign ministers also discussed the crisis in Libya. 

“The future of Libya obviously belongs to Libyans, and the security of our countries is also directly connected to the security in Libya,” Le Drian said.  

Italy is one of the first countries in Europe to reopen its borders to international tourism, hoping to relaunch its key tourism industry, which has been hit hard by the pandemic.

Now visitors coming from EU and Schengen countries will not have to undergo a two-week quarantine as they enter the country.

The encouraging trend in the rate of deaths and new infections persuaded the government to allow Italians to move freely for their summer vacations, overcoming the resistance of less-hit regions worried over the risk of a new spread of the coronavirus.

*Writing by Burak Dag in Ankara

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