France will begin to lift travel restrictions on 15 June
June 15, 2020
Last Update: 2020-06-15 01:31:42
As France continues to ease its lockdown measures, the government has announced it will lift border restrictions with European countries on 15 June.
France's move is in line with recommendations from the European Commission that all 27 member states begin to lift border controls by 15 June, after bloc-wide travel restrictions were initiated in mid-March. Some countries such as Italy have already opened their borders to European visitors, while others, including Spain, are waiting until July. France never fully closed its borders when it imposed a nationwide lockdown but non-essential travel has been restricted since April.
Now as the nation gears up to gradually welcome tourists again, museums and attractions are setting out new health and safety rules for visitors. After its longest closure since the Second World War, the Eiffel Tower will reopen on 25 June with face coverings compulsory for all visitors over the age of 11. The Louvre is set to welcome visitors from 6 July through pre-bookings only so that officials can manage crowds and enforce social distancing.
Cafes and restaurants around the country resumed operations at the beginning of June. In most parts of the country, the so-called "green areas" where coronavirus infection rates are low, customers have been permitted to dine inside. While in Paris, an "orange area" with relatively high infection rates, diners are served outdoors at tables set up on pavements and in parking bays.
People sit at a terrace in front of the Raspail metro station in the 14th arrondissement of Paris, as bars and restaurants reopen after two months of nationwide restrictions ©Edward Berthelot/Getty Images
Earlier this week, the EU proposed opening its borders to countries outside of the continent from 1 July, though the final decision rests with each member state. It's likely that visitors from countries where the virus is under control will be permitted to enter first.