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COVID-19 Informer: Looming on the horizon is a global recession

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

As countries re-open borders across Europe and coronavirus restrictions ease across the world, the focus is shifting to the economy, as the world stares down the worst global recession in nearly a century.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, as reported by AAP, says global economic output could fall by as much as 7.6 per cent this year if a second wave emerges, with the pandemic's economic impact expected to be harsher in Europe because its strict lockdowns.

In the eurozone, which includes the 19 European Union countries which use the euro currency, GDP is expected to drop 11.5 per cent this year in the case of a second wave and by more than nine per cent if another round of infections is avoided.

"Now we're in the midst of... perhaps the most global health, economic and social crisis and it's simply the most severe any of us have ever witnessed," OECD secretary general Angel Gurria said during a presentation of the report in Paris.

But across Europe borders are re-opening as countries try to kick-start their economies.

From June 16, Austria will open up to all European neighbours with the exception of Spain, Portugal, Sweden and Britain, meaning that visitors from 31 countries will no longer be required to undergo a two-week quarantine upon arrival.

It has a travel warning in place for Italy's northern region of Lombardy, which still has triple-digit growth of daily infections.

While Italy opened its own borders on June 3, Austria's reluctance to open their shared border has been a sore spot between the two.

Greece will allow tourists to fly to Athens or the main northern city of Thessaloniki from June 15 and allow international flights to land at regional airports from July 1.

Spain's Balearic Islands will allow German tourists to fly in for a two-week trial from June 15 to test out how to balance the needs of the tourism industry with regulations to curb coronavirus.

The rest of Spain opens to international tourism on July 1.

Hungary will fully reopen its borders with Croatia from Friday.

The virus has infected 7.3 million people worldwide and killed 413,000, about 180,000 of them in Europe, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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This story Looming on the horizon is a global recession first appeared on The Canberra Times.