European Countries Reopening Borders
By VOA News June 15, 2020
Monday sees more reopenings in France, Britain, Greece and other locations, while China is reimposing some coronavirus restrictions after dozens of new cases in Beijing.
Restaurant owners in Paris are able join those in the rest of the country by opening their doors for patrons to eat inside. Travelers from other European countries can also travel to France again as countries open their borders to travelers from other parts of the continent.
"We must relaunch our economy," French President Emmanuel Macron said.
In Britain, non-essential shops are opening again Monday, as are places of worship for individual prayer, and recreation sites such as drive-in movie theaters and zoos. People will still need to observe social distancing rules and the government is advising the use of facemasks when people are inside.
On Britain's public transit, Monday brought new orders for mandatory face coverings.
Greece opened the international airport in is second largest city, Thessaloniki, to EU travelers, and the country's museums reopened after a three-month shutdown.
Set to reopen Thursday is Hong Kong Disneyland. The park has been shuttered since January and at first only a limited number of visitors will be allowed in. Guests will need to make a health declaration as part of their pre-arrival reservation process. The Disney park in Shanghai reopened last month.
China reported 49 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, the majority linked to a wholesale market in Beijing, prompting authorities to reimpose some social isolation restrictions and suspend plans to restart some classes.
Many areas around the world have struggled with the decision about when and how quickly to relax measures put in place to slow the spread of the virus that has infected 7.9 million people worldwide and killed at least 433,000.
The governor of New York state, the hardest-hit area of the United States, expressed his concerns Sunday about complaints local authorities and businesses are not properly enforcing restrictions, leading to large gatherings with poor social distancing and few people wearing masks.
"If you have large gatherings of people who are not socially distanced, who are not wearing masks, you will have an increased spread in the virus," Cuomo said. "It may not come for a period of time, but it will come. And once it comes, it's too late. Now you're back up in a spike situation and it's going to take you weeks of extraordinary effort to bring it down."
Turkey's health minister also expressed concerns about his country's efforts, saying Turkey is "moving away from the target" with more than 1,500 new confirmed cases in one day. It was the highest such figure for Turkey since June 3.
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