The Italians are preparing for the return of the tourists.
May 16, 2020 8h56
Updated at 22h07
The borders are open, lifting of restrictions
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.