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France Calls for EU Unity on Border Reopening Amid Coronavirus Fears

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The French interior minister warned EU nations on Saturday against setting their own schedules for reopening borders as Europe prepares for the summer tourist season.
"We need to be able to have a joint discussion on the European level, especially on the Schengen zone level. It is not what we see today", Christophe Castaner said.

He said Spain's and Italy's unilateral decisions to throw open borders to EU tourists were not taken in the spirit of solidarity. France is yet to announce the reopening date.

Earlier in the day, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in a press conference that the government is aware of the risks it faces if the number of COVID-19 cases were to rise, adding that restrictions on movement within one region will be lifted and shops, museums, hair and beauty salons, bars, and restaurants will reopen on Monday.

Italy plans to allow entry to EU citizens without a mandatory 14-day quarantine starting 3 June, while Spain hopes to welcome tourists sometime in early July.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said this week that her country wanted all border controls within the EU's visa-free area to be lifted from 15 June. Germany and Austria plan to fully restore travel on that day.

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