Austria and Greece to reopen borders with Italy

Greece and Austria prepare to lift restrictions for Italian tourists.

Austria will reopen its border with Italy from 16 June as the country relaxes its coronavirus restrictions, reports Italian news agency ANSA.

The news was announced by Austrian foreign minister Alexander Schallenberg who said that a travel warning would remain in place for Lombardy, the north Italian region hardest-hit by the covid-19 crisis.

Schallenberg also invited Austrians to "not forget common sense when packing" for their summer holidays abroad.

Separately, Greece is to gradually lift all restrictions on Italian tourists entering the country by the end of this month, reports ANSA.

Greece's foreign minister Nikos Dendias, speaking after discussions in Athens with his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio on 9 June, said the move was based on Italy's "radically improving" coronavirus situation.

Italy reopened to visitors from the European Union and Schengen area countries on 3 June as the country begins a tentative return to international tourism following three months of covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

As European Union states reopen their internal borders, the external borders of the EU will be reopened in a second phase starting from 1 July, the EU high representative for foreign affairs Josep Borrell announced on 10 June.