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European nations relax coronavirus-related border restrictions

European nations relax coronavirus-related border restrictions
Vehicles queue to cross the border into Germany at a checkpoint in Froeslev, Denmark, on Monday after the border was reopened for the first time since March due to the COVID-19 crisis. Photo by Claus Fisker/EPA-EFE

June 15 (UPI) -- France, Germany and other European nations on Monday lifted coronavirus-related border restrictions as they near the peak summer travel season.

Travelers from all EU states plus Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and Vatican City can now enter France without any forms of quarantine at the border.

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Visitors from Spain and Britain, however, must first self-isolate for 14 days -- a response by Paris to similar quarantine rules in Spain and Britain for French travelers.

In Germany, officials relaxed border restrictions Monday for travelers from the EU, Britain, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. The Federal Foreign Office rescinded a warning against non-essential travel to 27 European countries, including popular holiday destinations like Italy, Greece and Croatia.

A warning against travel to Spain, another popular destination for Germans, remains intact.

Last month, Berlin partially reopened its borders with neighboring Austria, Switzerland and France.

Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Norway, Slovenia and Switzerland also instituted varying degrees of relaxed border controls Monday after three months of restrictions.

As EU nations step up plans to reopen internal borders, the European Commission has also urged them to stage a coordinated reopening for external borders beyond the Schengen visa-free zone starting July 1.

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France has indicated it will do so, saying it will ease restrictions on a case-by-case basis depending on health criteria.

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