Subtle Dosage between health precautions related to the new coronavirus and economic necessity: the european Union has re-opened on Wednesday targeted its borders in full start of the summer tourist season, as well as in Greece, where the charters are back.
Bathed by the turquoise waters of the Ionian sea, the Greek island of Corfu hopes to “make up for lost time” and saw land on Wednesday its first tourists.
“It’s fantastic, we are very happy to be here and enjoy the sun (…) we have waited for this moment for so long,” says Molnar Istvan, Hungarian tourist landing at Corfu of the first flight of the day, from Budapest, hosted by the Greek minister of Tourism, Haris Theocharis.
The Greek Prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, for his part, warned in the week that this would, however, be a ” tourist season very difficult.”
The UN estimated on Wednesday that the restrictions related to the COVID-19, which has already killed more than 500 000 deaths in the world, should result in the coming months by a shortfall ranging from 1200 to 3300 billion for the tourism and related sectors.
The EU has authorized the flights from 14 countries from all continents, as well as China, on the sole condition that it admits on its soil of the visitors “non-essential” from the EU, which is currently not the case.
Fruit of difficult negotiations, this list was adopted on Tuesday and subject to revision in two weeks is based “in particular” on epidemiological criteria.
Will be admitted to the EU and the Schengen area travellers from Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.
Are especially excluded from the United States, the country most affected in the world by the pandemic, with 125 928 deaths to nearly 2.6 million cases identified, but also Brazil, Russia, India, Turkey, and Israel in particular.
Austria, however, has maintained its travel restrictions with Serbia and Montenegro.
The Corfu airport was Wednesday, ten-seven charter flights from Germany, Ireland, Austria, or Switzerland, in particular, that tourism professionals are hoping to charge passengers.
“We need your help”
In the middle of the facades of ochre and pink crushed sun, Yannis still has the “1% hope to” see surging tourists in its gift shop and its sixteen rooms, and so ” make up for lost time “.
“We are optimistic with flights arriving” Wednesday, explains to the AFP Amelia Vlachou, who keeps a jewellery shop in an alley in a shady part of the island: “We will have tourists, although of course this will not be comparable with previous years.”
More than 3200 international flights have converged in 2019 on Corfu, crowded mainly of British, Germans, Polish and Italians.
The contagion brand in Europe, the former epicenter of the pandemic, which continues its gradual return to normal: on Wednesday, the museum of the extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau welcomes to new visitors in Poland, cinemas and cultural events of small size resume their activities in Austria… and the brothels reopened in the netherlands.
But homes still exist and disturb. In particular, in the area of Lisbon, submitted again for a week with restrictions to avoid the crowds. 19 suburban neighborhoods of the Portuguese capital are reconfinés for two weeks from Wednesday, in order to prevent the spread of contamination bounced back.
Difficult, however, for the 700 000 inhabitants of its districts to stop work or take the public transport: “If we can’t leave the area, then it is necessary to help us,” pleads a young resident.
“If you can’t work, we can’t pay (…) We are in need of food aid and a suspension of the payment of bills “, explains to the AFP Iuri Fidalgo, a Portuguese original cape verdean living in the city of Quinta do Mocho in the municipality of Loures.
Epidemic out of control
Tuesday, it was the 600 000 inhabitants of the town of Leicester which have been reconfinés due to an outbreak of cases in this city in the centre of England.
Main countries excluded from the list of the EU, the United States, where the epidemic rages, especially in the South and West of the country, some States have had to make a pause in the process of déconfinement.
“It is obvious that we do not have the full control now,” said dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the crisis cell’s presidential on the coronavirus.
In the disadvantaged neighborhoods of Miami, Florida, where the governor refuses to impose the wearing of the mask despite the outbreak of infections, teams of volunteers distribute kits with protective gear, disinfectant gel and explanatory brochure to the residents.
“We have masks!” they scream, before explaining to those who approach, how to put it correctly.
Although appearing on the list of the EU, its neighboring canada, including the Prime minister, Justin Trudeau has said fears of a “second wave” epidemic “that could hit very hard” was extended until July 31, the entry ban of foreign nationals, except – paradoxically – of the Americans, and until 31 August the mandatory quarantine upon arrival in the country.
On the continent, the situation is also worrying in Latin America and the Caribbean, where the balance sheet could exceed 400 000 dead in three months if the health measures are more stringent are not taken, according to the pan american health Organization (PAHO).
In Colombia, in particular, more and more young people are hospitalized in the intensive care unit.
In India, a hundred people have been tested positive after participating, a few days apart, to the wedding and then the funeral of a young man who has potentially contracted the COVID-19.