Madrid Desk, May 15 (efe-epa).- European nations on Friday began to lift restrictions on travel with other countries on the continent.
The easing of these measures came as the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic continued to bite.
Germany’s economy fell 2.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2020 due to the impact of the pandemic, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) reported.
It was the biggest drop in the country’s GDP since the economic crisis of 2008 and the second-worst since German reunification in 1990.
It came as German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas held discussions with other European Union nations to agree on easing travel restrictions in the region.
Italy, Spain, Croatia, Malta, Greece and Austria were among those invited to take part in the virtual meeting.
The German government announced a progressive reduction of border controls earlier this week and is expected to lift the quarantine for EU citizens.
Germany, home to 83 million people, has stabilised its level of infection, with a reproduction rate of 0.7.
Authorities have reported more than 173,100 cases, of which 151,700 have recovered, and 7,800 deaths.