Europe

Spain to reopen EU borders on June 21, more than a week ahead of schedule

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Spain, one of the worlds leading tourist destinations, will next Sunday re-establish free travel with fellow EU countries, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced.

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The land border with Portugal will however remain closed until July 1. Portugal has suffered a much lower death rate than Spain from the coronavirus epidemic.

Madrid had previously planned to restart full EU travel on July 1 but decided to lift “border checks with all member countries on June 21”, Sanchez said in a televised speech on Sunday.

The new date coincides with the lifting of the state of emergency Spain imposed from mid-March to fight Covid-19 as fatalities soared.

Spain has recorded more than 27,000 deaths in the pandemic, one of the highest tolls around the world.

But by Monday, more than 70 percent of Spains 47 million population will be in the final stage of a phased rollback of the lockdown that should finish by June 21.

The European Commission has recommended that the 27 EU members fully reopen their frontiers with each other on June 15 and many countries are planning to do so.

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