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EU wants free travel within Europe this month

Most EU countries want to open up their borders to visitors from within the EU by June 15, France’s tourism minister has said ahead of an important EU meeting today.

So far the UK has been treated as ‘internal’ to the EU for purposes of coronavirus restrictions due to the fact that it is still within the Brexit transition period.

It comes as the European Commissioner for Home affairs, Ylva Johannsson has said the EU will be proposing that member states should lift all ‘internal’ (EU) border restrictions and checks by the end of this month at the latest.

The EU’s approach is that it would like this ‘internal’ opening to be in place before it then looks to open up its external borders with the rest of the world.

At present no one may come into the EU from ‘outside’ unless they are EU citizens or residents and this is currently in place until June 15, but may have to be extended, depending on what is decided about the internal border rules.

Many EU countries currently have very restrictive rules on entry from all countries including other EU states, such as France which still requires visitors to fill in an ‘international travel attestation’ ticking one of a small number of possible reasons for coming.

These do not include a holiday or a visit to a French second home.

The home affairs ministers of the EU states are all meeting today in Brussels to try to agree on their approach for the weeks ahead. Connexion will provide updates later today.

French Tourism Minster Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne told BFMTV: “It’s important that we should coordinate, so a debate is being held by videoconferencing.

“Within Europe there’s a lot of convergence happening, for lifting the checks that have been put in place around June 15; three-quarters of the member states are thinking along those lines.

“And we’re also going to debate the conditions for states beyond this zone.

“That leaves us a month to prepare well together, perhaps also to see about lists of countries for which there might be a few constraints or checks to put in place according to the evolution of the epidemic.”

More on coronavirus travel restrictions in France

Covid-19: France tourism boost as travel rules eased

Quarantine for travel to France? FAQs and latest info

Can we travel to our second home in France in June? (Subscriber extra) 

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