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Covid-19: France tourism boost as travel rules eased

Hotels, B&Bs, campsites, and gîtes across most of France will be allowed to reopen from June 2, when the 100km limit on travel is lifted

Restrictions limiting residents from travelling more than 100km from their homes will be lifted from June 2, France's Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced.

It is a key part of a number of measures that will please the country's under-pressure tourist industry.

Residents will be allowed to travel without restriction within the country - a relief to hoteliers and restaurant owners ahead of what is expected to be a sunny holiday season more dependent than usual on domestic tourism.

However, Mr Philippe warned: "The less we move around, the less we spread the virus.

"I call on all French to show the same kind of responsibility as they have been showing throughout the crisis."

Mr Philippe said the country was now divided into green and orange zones, based on regional differences in coronavirus levels. The huge majority of the country is now classified green - but Ile-de-France - as well as overseas territories of Guyana and Mayotte - are classed as 'orange zones'.

Hotels, campsites, gites and B&Bs in green-classified areas of France will welcome the news that they will be able to reopen for business from June 2, in line with cafes and restaurants. Those in the few orange zones will remain closed until at least June 22.

Mr Philippe also announced that France plans to reopen its borders to travel from other European nations from June 15.

The government had previously suggested that domestic tourism would be possible this summer, with some restrictions, but that foreign trips may have to remain on hold.

Travel into France is currently heavily restricted, with travellers required to present an international travel certificate at the border. Until June 15 current international regulations remain in place.

A number of other EU countries, including Germany, have already committed to reopening borders on that date, but until now France had only said it would review its restrictions. But it will begin talks with other EU countries to lift stringent border rules, Mr Philippe said.

With France in line with other EU nations, travel restrictions within Europe look set to be mostly lifted. That said, travellers arriving from the UK or Spain remain - for now - subject to a voluntary quarantine period, introduced by France after those countries imposed quarantine rules of their own.

EU borders remain closed to travellers from outside Europe. Lifting those regulations will be a matter for discussion between European countries, Mr Philippe said.

Meanwhile, Paris-Orly airport, which has been closed since March 31, will resume commercial passenger flights on 26 June, "optimising the airport's infrastructure" according to demand, its manager announced on Thursday.

"The effective reopening is conditional on the lifting of the main restrictions by mid-June, in particular those that limit the capacity of airlines to fly within the Schengen area," Aéroports de Paris said in a statement.

More on the second phase of deconfinement, June 2:

Covid-19: What reopens in France from June 2

Covid-19: France's restaurants can reopen from June 2

France StopCovid app: How it works and how to get it

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