Greece is seeking measures from Brussels that will pave the way for safely reopening the European Union’s internal borders next month in a bid to boost its flagging tourism sector, Politico has reported, citing a non-paper submitted by Athens to the European Commission head of Wednesday’s meeting of the College of Commissioners.
“Our objective is to work toward reopening travel between EU countries by 15 June, where possible,” Politico cited the non-paper as saying. It added that while Athens wants to ensure that there is no “nationality travel bias” in protocols drafted by the Commission, it does want a “common understanding” that travelers within the EU will have to be tested for coronavirus or antibodies ahead of their trip. Alternatively, it said, tests will not be required for travel between areas “which have demonstrated clear and persistent evidence that the Covid-19 situation is under control.”
Apparently eager to restore tourism on the islands, Athens is reportedly pushing for there to be “no discrimination or differentiation by means of travel.”
“Means of transport by road, air, train or sea reopen at the same time and with proportionate protocols. We cannot allow more remote [member countries] of our Union to be left behind,” Politico reported Athens as saying.
The European Commission is expected to present a proposal for a staged lifting of travel restrictions across internal borders within the bloc, starting with regions that have managed to contain the virus.