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Tourism and transport: Commission's guidance on how to safely resume travel and reboot Europe's tourism in 2020 and beyond

The Commission yesterday presented a package of guidelines and recommendations to help Member States gradually lift travel restrictions and allow tourism businesses to reopen, after months of lockdown, while respecting necessary health precautions.

The Commission's guidance aims to offer people the chance to get some well-needed rest, relaxation and fresh air. As soon as the health situation allows, people should be able to catch up with friends and family, in their own EU country or across borders, with all the safety and precautionary measures needed in place.

The package also aims to help the EU tourism sector recover from the pandemic, by supporting businesses and ensuring that Europe continues to be the number one destination for visitors.

The Commission's Tourism and Transport package includes:

  • An overall strategy towards recovery in 2020 and beyond;
  • common approach to restoring free movement and lifting restrictions at EU internal borders in a gradual and coordinated way;
  • framework to support the gradual re-establishment of transport whilst ensuring the safety of passengers and personnel;
  • recommendation which aims to make travel vouchers an attractive alternative to cash reimbursement for consumers;
  • Criteria for restoring tourism activities safely and gradually and for developing health protocols for hospitality establishments such as hotels.

For tourists and travellers

The Commission is looking to give people the ability, confidence and safety to travel again with the following measures:

  • Safely restoring freedom of movement and lifting internal border controls:

Free movement and cross-border travel are key to tourism. As Member States manage to reduce the circulation of the virus, blanket restrictions to free movement should be replaced by more targeted measures. If a generalised lifting of restrictions is not justified by the health situation, the Commission proposes a phased and coordinated approach that starts by lifting restrictions between areas or Member States with sufficiently similar epidemiological situations. The approach must also be flexible, including the possibility to reintroduce certain measures if the epidemiological situation requires. Member States should act on the basis of the following 3 criteria:

  • epidemiological, notably focusing on areas where situation is improving, based on guidance by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and using the regional map developed by the ECDC;
  • the ability to apply containment measures throughout the whole journey including at border crossings, including additional safeguards and measures where physical distancing may be difficult to ensure and
  • economic and social considerations, initially prioritising cross-border movement in key areas of activity and including personal reasons.

Click here for the full press release

 

Original article link: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_20_854

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