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EU: Access to healthcare must be guaranteed to everyone, including visitors from other states

Christian Fernsby ▼ | May 14, 2020
From a health perspective, several important criteria have been put together, with the help of ECDC, must be fulfilled to allow for an as safe as possible return to tourism activities in the coming weeks or months, Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety said.
Stella Kyriakides
Commissioner   Stella Kyriakides
"First of all, the number of coronavirus cases must have significantly not only declined, but also stabilised in regions wishing to reopen travel and tourism areas and we need clear evidence confirming this situation.

"Secondly, countries and regions must ensure sufficient health system capacity, such as hospital and intensive care services, in case the number of cases suddenly increases. And access to healthcare must be guaranteed to everyone, including visitors from other Member States," Kyriakides said.

"Thirdly, Member States need to ensure sufficient testing capacities and to test on a large-scale to detect new cases and changes in the spread of the virus.

"Fourthly, this should be coupled with contact tracing for which coordination between Member States will be even more important as borders re-open to ensure effective cross-border control of virus transmission.

"Fifth, communication will be key and citizens should be informed of the measures that are in place for their protection and the precautions they can take individually to stay safe.

"Lastly, comprehensive preparedness plans should be put in place to rapidly react to any outbreaks that occur.

"Part of this is guidance on the rigorous health and safety requirements needed to allow people to stay, as well as work, as safely as possible in hotels, restaurants and outdoor areas.

"We are today setting out the framework for how Member States can resume travelling in the safest way possible and how we need to rethink the way we do tourism in the future. Putting this in place, and dong so in a coordinated manner, will now be their responsibility," Kyriakides said.

"A precondition for any resumption of travel is the lifting of internal border controls, and ensuring transport which is as safe as possible across the EU."