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EU plan to save summer holidays: Lift all checks

Christian Fernsby ▼ | May 13, 2020
The European Union has unveiled its plan to help citizens across its 27 nations salvage their summer holidays after months of coronavirus confinement in hopes of resurrecting Europe’s battered tourism industry.
Germany tourists
Germany   Germany tourists
Around 150,000 people have died across Europe since the virus surfaced in northern Italy in February, but with the spread of the disease tapering off, people in many countries are cautiously venturing out of confinement to return to work and some schools are reopening.

A question on the minds of people, tour operators and the thousands of small businesses that depend on the tourism industry is whether the summer months this year will be reduced to a home-style “staycation”.

In a series of guidelines, the European Commission laid out its advice for lifting ID checks on hastily closed borders, helping to get airlines, ferries and buses running while ensuring the safety of passengers and crew, and preparing health measures for hotels to reassure clients.

Even with restrictions easing, social distancing rules would apply, and the EC is recommending that robust disease monitoring measures are put in place including good testing capacity and contact tracing so that people have the confidence to return to hotels and camping sites abroad.

German foreign minister Heiko Mass said his country will lift a blanket warning against foreign travel for European destinations before other places, but did not specify when. Germany’s warning against all non-essential tourist travel abroad runs until at least June 14.

“It will certainly be possible to lift the travel warning earlier for Europe than for other destinations so long as the current positive trend in many countries solidifies,” he said. “Freedom to travel is part of the foundation of the European project, but in times of corona, Europe must ensure more: the freedom to travel safely.”