The borders are open, lifting of restrictions

Les frontières s'ouvrent, levée des restrictions

Les frontières s'ouvrent, levée des restrictions

The Italians are preparing for the return of the tourists.


May 16, 2020 8h56

Updated at 22h07


The borders are open, lifting of restrictions

Christophe Beaudufe

Agence France-Presse

Philippe Schwab

Agence France-Presse

BERLIN — Italy announces the reopening of its borders to tourists, Germany regains his football, France’s beaches: the lifting of restrictions continued on Saturday in a world hit by the coronavirus, which has killed at least 309 000 people dead and causing an unprecedented recession.

In order to try to save the season, in a country where tourism represents about 13% of GDP, the Italian government announced the lifting of the quarantine mandatory for the foreign visitors and the reopening of the borders to all tourists from the EU.

Italy is the third country in the most grief-stricken in the world, with more than 31 700 dead.

“We are facing a calculated risk, knowing (…) that the epidemic curve could again start rising”, commented on Saturday evening the Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte.

“We are facing this risk, and we must accept it, (…) we can’t afford” to wait for the discovery of a vaccine, unless you go with a productive and social severely damaged”, he pleaded.

In Germany, the Bundesliga has become on Saturday the first major league soccer to find the stages after weeks of confinement. A return on the land behind closed doors, closely followed by the whole of planet football.

No handshakes, no kids to accompany the players, no cheers: it is in the arenas empty of any viewer that has been given to the kick-off of the first five meetings, including the prestigious derby of the Ruhr area Dortmund-Schalke.

“Better matches behind closed doors to slow the progression of the epidemic as a public health disaster, it is better than nothing”, to console Nicole Bartelt, a supporter of Dortmund who is resigned to watch the game on television.

First tourist destination, Europe, France, for its part, reopened Saturday several iconic sites, such as the Mont Saint-Michel, Chartres cathedral, or the Sanctuary of Lourdes.

But their access is restricted to visitors local: in this country where the pandemic has made more than 27 500 dead, the displacements are limited to a radius of 100 km around the home.

“Like drug addicts”

Many French beaches have also been allowed to reopen. But no question of sunbathing or a picnic: they are restricted to use “dynamic”, without collective activities.

“We are like drug addicts, we were excited because we bathe here all year,” said Gilles, a retired gone for a swim on his favorite beach in Nice, on the Mediterranean, in spite of a water rather fresh.

Les frontières s'ouvrent, levée des restrictions

In Marseille, in the south of France, the beaches are accessible from the relaxation of containment measures.

AP, Daniel Cole

The Greece has reopened its private beaches but also follow strict rules, including the prohibition to put his umbrella at less than four metres from its neighbour. The public beaches were reopened on may 4.

“It is a bit painful to clean up every time a client leaves,” sighed Pedri Alatras, responsible for disinfection of sunbeds at Kavouri, near Athens.

In England, the first end of the week since the relief of the containment measures that have seen visitors proven by weeks of confinement flow in the parks and some tourist areas, making it sometimes difficult to comply with the guidelines of social distancing.

Nearly 15 million cars are expected this weekend on the roads of England, according to a survey commissioned by the Royal Automobile Club.

“We still fear”

Under strong pressure to do likewise, Germany does not consider such a measure before the 15 June. It has, however, reopened Saturday its border with Luxembourg, and slightly relaxed the conditions of passage with Austria and Switzerland.

Throughout the country, thousands of people demonstrated against the remaining restrictions in the face of the pandemic, in a movement that regularly takes the magnitude.

In Africa, the people of Abidjan have been reunited with their famous “maquis”, these bars-the popular restaurants. But in an atmosphere of half-tint. “There is still fear of the disease”, explains Hymia Solange Ouattara, who came to have fun Friday night In Gnawa, in a lively district of the ivorian capital.

In the Congo, the authorities have announced the start Monday of a “déconfinement progressive and incremental”.

The virus, which, according to the world Health Organization (WHO) could “never go away”, continues a deadly race. And in several countries, the time is not at the party.

In Chile, the capital Santiago woke up Saturday, in total containment, a measure ordered by the government after a bond of contamination, and a doubling of the number of deaths daily in two days.

In India, the pandemic overwhelms the health system of Mumbai, the economic powerhouse of the country: bodies lying around in the rooms of hospitals, and some patients have to share their bed. “The system is under enormous pressure, it is exploding,” says Deepak Baid, a physician.

“Multilateral response”

In the United States, the most affected country with more than 87 500 deaths, unemployment affects nearly 15% of the active population, a record.

The us president, Donald Trump has again predicted Friday the arrival of a vaccine before the end of the year, “it may be that before”.

Optimism showered by the French minister of Research, Frédérique Vidal. We can “hope for a vaccine at the horizon of 18 months, but it is not reasonable to think that you can go faster than that, except to endanger the safety of people,” she estimated Saturday.

Les frontières s'ouvrent, levée des restrictions

Photo 123RF/ Vladimir Cosic

The european medicines agency had referred on Thursday to a one-year period, according to an “optimistic”.

More than one hundred projects have been launched in the world and a dozen clinical trials are underway, including five in China, to try to find a cure against the COVID-19.

Of the 194 member States of the world health Organization (WHO) should get together remotely on Monday to try to co-ordinate their response to the pandemic, an appointment, however, under the threat of a direct confrontation between Washington and Beijing.

Le Soleil

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