Europe promises to reopen summer tourism after coronavirus infection

Europe promises to reopen summer tourism after coronavirus infection

(CNN)- Since it became the epicenter of the coronavirus, the world’s largest tourist playground has been closed, but as summer approaches, Europe is eager to lift restrictions to attract tourists to inject large amounts of cash into much-needed economies.

Across the African continent, countries currently sitting behind isolated areas or sealed border firewalls are studying how to welcome holidaymakers again.

Last week, the European Union announced an action plan to reopen its internal borders, safely disband its reception department, and restore the railway, highway, aviation and maritime transportation networks that were strangled during the pandemic.

Millions of adult travelers desperately want to see this happen. After being locked away at home for weeks or months, they desperately want to enjoy European sunshine and culture.

Thierry Breton, EU Internal Market Commissioner, said: “All of us need to rest, especially after this confinement.” “We want to enjoy the summer vacation, we want to see our family and friends They live in another country in another country.

“But we want to be able to do this while maintaining health and safety, because we know that the virus will remain in our body for some time.”

The European Union has now made recommendations to all member states, asking them to restrict all unnecessary visitors from outside. However, as the infection rate in some countries declines, this situation seems to change.

Some countries (such as Greece and Italy) are already specifying specific dates. On Saturday, Italy announced plans to reopen its internal borders next month, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said many internal EU border restrictions will be lifted on June 15.

Some people even talk about allowing special “green corridors” or “travel bubbles” so that certain countries with low or steep declines in infection rates can be opened to a few destinations until the border is completely reopened.

These initiatives are supported by the EU plan, which proposes measures to limit member states between “sufficiently similar epidemiological conditions” (in other words, the same coronavirus infection rate).

However, tourists from outside the EU may still face uncertain waiting.

The EU plan also establishes a roadmap for the development of health and safety agreements for beaches, hotels, campgrounds, bed and breakfasts, cafes and restaurants to protect guests and employees, such as allowing people to book a gym or swimming pool in advance.

It also aims to strengthen regulations to give passengers the right to choose between cancelled transportation tickets or vouchers for tour groups or cash reimbursement.

EU member states also agreed to adopt an agreement to ensure that tracking applications can run cross-border so that citizens can be warned of potential coronavirus infections when traveling within groups.

Margrethe Vestager, vice chairman of the European Commission, the EU’s executive body, said: “This is not a normal summer for anyone, but when we all work together, we will do our best. Part of the power. The way the committee proposed today, then we don’t have to face the summer at home or the summer of the European tourism industry being completely lost.”

Although these new measures will help to impose orders on the somewhat chaotic travel situation across the continent, the situation is still unstable.

Currently, if you plan to travel to or travel within Europe in the next few months, you need to know the following:

France

France is the most visited country in the world, but the coronavirus crisis has paralyzed the tourism industry here.

PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/AFP via Getty Images

Once the coronavirus crisis has subsided, travelers who list France as a tourist destination should prepare for a long wait.

Like the rest of the EU, the borders of non-EU tourists have been closed in the past two months-the EU recently proposed an extension of the ban Until June 15, 2020.

From now until at least July 24th, anyone who enters the country, with the exception of EU citizens or people entering the UK, will be forced to undergo a 14-day quarantine of coronavirus.

France’s Minister of the Interior, Christophe Castaner, made it clear that France’s internal affairs will be gradually lifted, and despite the gradual lifting of the blockade, the country’s schools, restaurants and cafes will be reopened in the coming weeks. Adjust border restrictions In the foreseeable future.

However, the hotel may be allowed to resume business in the next few weeks.

French hotel chain Accor has closed nearly two-thirds of its hotels, while those that are still operating are used to support healthcare and front-line employees and “vulnerable groups.”

An Accor spokesperson told CNN: “The good news is the initial recovery of the Chinese hotel market, with improvements in occupancy and catering activities: this is an inspiring sign.”

While waiting for the government to give a green light, the workers are “developing strict safety standards and cleaning agreements” in preparation for reopening.

Although they do not expect many international tourists in the coming months, Accor’s majority of its income comes from domestic travel. If the restrictions on the border are relaxed and the restrictions are relaxed, this seems likely to increase significantly.

The spokesman added: “When the locking measures are relaxed, French tourists may wish to stay at home in the short term.”

“This is the moment when they rediscover their country and we will welcome them there.”

Greece

Santorini 1

Greece hopes to welcome tourists as early as June.

Russell Yan/Pixabay

Greece may eventually become one of the first European destinations open to tourists again.

This Mediterranean country has managed to keep its coronavirus deaths at a very low level by implementing strict blockade measures as early as possible. To date, there have been fewer than 170 Covid-19 deaths.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced this week that the country will reopen to tourists on June 15.

“Let’s let this summer be [Covid-19] crisis. “

According to Mitsotakis, from July 1st, direct international flights to Greek destinations will be automatically opened, and tourists will no longer be required to conduct Covid-19 inspection or quarantine.

However, Tourism Minister Haris Theoharis said health officials will conduct on-site testing when necessary.

In addition, the value-added tax (VAT) of all means of transportation will be reduced from 24% to 13% to attract travelers.

This news was released on May 18, shortly after the archaeological site of Acropolis in Athens and the country’s high schools and shopping centers reopened.

However, for obvious reasons, any Greek holiday in the summer of 2020 will be very different from the past few years.

Mitsotakis told CNN earlier this month: “This summer’s travel experience may be slightly different from previous years.”

“Maybe there may be no open bars or crowds, but as long as the global epidemic is declining, you can still get a wonderful experience in Greece.”

The city hotel in Greece is scheduled to reopen on June 1, and the seasonal hotel will reopen in a month.

Currently, all international passengers must undergo Covid-19 inspection or quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Greece. Mitsotakis had previously suggested that visitors must be tested before visiting to prevent further.

Although the country may be preparing to attract tourists again, traveling there will be a challenge for many people.

Currently, all non-EU citizens are banned Enter Greece until June 15 Most low-cost airline routes (which constitute the majority of foreign aircraft in the country) have been suspended.

Mitsotakis relies on the influx of “more high-end tourists” to help revitalize the country’s tourism industry, which employs one-fifth of Greeks.

Spain

Sanxenxo Beach

The new beach agreement in the Spanish town of Sanxenxo will involve the allocation of solariums on a “first come, first served” basis.

Offered by Diario de Arousa

Facts have proved that the Spanish blockade is one of the strictest blockades in Europe-prohibiting children from leaving their homes at one stage.

But this popular destination welcomed a record 84 million tourists in 2019 and is currently gradually relaxing restrictions. The beach will reopen in June and hotels in certain parts of the country have been allowed to resume operations.

However, it is understandable that officials are cautious about reopening the country. It seems that the current border restrictions cannot be changed before the end of the summer. The current border restrictions prohibit everyone except Spanish citizens, residents and border workers from visiting. Spain.

The Spaniard said: “When the international tourism industry is open, we must ensure that people who come to Spain are safe.” Tourism Minister Reyes Recently told the local newspaper El Pais.

He said: “The border issue will be accompanied by the development of a health crisis.”

“So I don’t know when to fix [they will be able to open]. Regarding how you will enjoy our beach, we are defining different plans. “

One or two of these “scenes” have been announced, and many towns have developed new agreements to maintain social alienation measures on busy beaches.

When the Mediterranean town of Canet d’en Berenguer in northern Valencia reopens, the local beach only allows 5,000 sunbathers per day, while Sanxenxo in Galicia will The first-come-first-served way allocates time to the beach.

Both draw small sections on the beach to ensure that swimmers can maintain a safe distance from each other, a move that most likely heralds future beach trips.

Earlier this month, a senior government official admitted that the country’s tourism industry would not be able to resume development until all borders within and outside the EU were reopened.

The official said: “A large part of our economy depends on the movement of international tourists and Spaniards.”

“But we must have a health system that can take care of anyone in Spain. This is the fundamental problem.”

Italy

The panorama shows the empty St. Peter’s Square and its main cathedral in the Vatican on April 6, 2020.

After weeks and weeks of blockade, Italy is slowly lifting restrictions.

ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images

Italy has been one of the hardest hit destinations by the pandemic, with a “very long” blockade imposed in March, but the “beautiful country” will not enter the restricted area for longer.

The Italian government has announced that from June 3, EU travellers will be able to enter the EU without entry quarantine. This is a “calculated risk” to revitalize the country’s tourism industry.

“We must accept it, otherwise we will never be able to start again.”

Currently, Italy and other EU countries, except the UK, currently impose restrictions on all non-essential travel from the Schengen area (a country consisting of 26 countries that usually have open borders).

Travellers from EU countries were previously required to be quarantined for two weeks before entering the country.

The announced measures are an important step in the country’s efforts to restart the economy after more than two months of blockade.

However, nearby Austria and Switzerland still have strict restrictions on cross-border travel, and many airlines have cancelled most flights to Italy, so reopening is not a simple process.

But officials have made it clear that they are eager to push things forward.

Giorgio Palmucci, president of the Italian National Tourism Administration (ENIT), told a local reporter last month: “I never said, and I never thought of closing Italy’s border with tourists in 2020.” “I It’s the exact opposite.”

All museums, including the Vatican Museums in Rome, will slowly reopen throughout May. However, strict social distance regulations will apply, and tickets need to be purchased online.

St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican was closed for more than two months before reopening on Monday, May 18.

Sicily has announced Plans to attract travelers back homeAnd provide subsidized holidays for domestic and international tourists.

Germany

On March 13, 2020, tourists stand near the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany

German officials are not in a hurry to reopen their borders.

Maja Hitij/Getty Images

Due to extensive testing and contact tracing, Germany managed to curb the death toll from its coronavirus, but officials seemed hesitant to return tourists.

Despite the country’s announcement on Wednesday that its border with neighboring Austria was unlocked on May 15, the fact that the country’s viral infections began to rise a few days after the country’s lockout restrictions were lifted this week is alleviating concerns about reopening the border Didn’t do much. .

German Chancellor Angela Merkel hopes to stop border control of the Schengen area within a few weeks.

She said on Wednesday: “My purpose is that if the infection process permits, I want to emphasize that from June 15th, border control in the Schengen area will be completely removed.”

A spokesman for the Austrian Ministry of Tourism said the prime ministers of the two countries agreed to open the border for day trips and commuters. The second step is to reopen normally from June 15.

Germany is still open to non-EU visitors, while many border crossing points with neighboring countries such as Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France and Switzerland have been closed or monitored.

The hotel is currently prohibited from receiving tourists, and most flights to and from Germany are still grounded.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas had previously expressed concerns about reopening the destination too quickly, and stressed that European countries should jointly decide on the best course of action.

He said: “A European competition to see who allows tourists to travel first will bring unacceptable risks.” Santagebir newspaper.

United Kingdom

On March 13, 2020, tourists stand near the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany.

Visitors to the UK must be quarantined for 14 days.

Maja Hitij/Getty Images

The British government’s decision to implement a 14-day quarantine on all immigrants when it began to relax restrictions on residents has thwarted the lingering hope of resuming international tourism in the coming weeks.

It is believed that the timing of the implementation of this move is uncertain and will prevent airlines from quickly restarting flight operations, and officials warned the British that their chances of taking refuge in the summer are very small.

In an interview with BBC Television, when asked whether British citizens should book flights in July, Minister of Transport Grant Shapps said: “I mean, you cannot travel abroad now. If you make a reservation, Obviously, I naturally seized the opportunity to spread the virus, as well as future travel suggestions.”

According to the current plan, the hotel may start business in early July, but as EU restrictions on the border still exist, the UK is expected to focus on domestic travel before making further decisions.

British Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston said in his speech: “There are nearly 40 million inbound tourists every year, and international tourists play an extremely important role in the British tourist economy. Tourists are welcome to come back.” The G20 Ministerial Special Meeting on Covid-19.

Sadly, there is absolutely no indication when it might happen.

Portugal

Portugal Wild Algarve West Beach

Portugal received 24 million tourists in 2019.

Regiao de Turismo do Algarve

Portugal has also begun to relax restrictions on the blockade, allowing hair salons, dry cleaners and repair shops to reopen.

On May 18, some restaurants, museums, coffee shops, and schools were allowed to open with reduced capacity.

However, sunbathers must maintain a distance of 1.5 meters to comply with Portuguese social evacuation rules.

To prevent overcrowding, an application that allows people to check if there is space on the beach of their choice.

Although it seems doubtful that international tourists can return by 2021, the destination has already taken measures to mitigate the impact.

The country’s tourism minister Rita Marques recently launched “Don’t cancel, postpone the planThis allows tourists to reschedule any pre-arranged holidays to Portugal until the end of 2021.

This applies to all reservations made through approved travel agencies and hotels or Airbnb, and applies to travel between March 13 and September 30, 2020.

At the same time, the National Tourism Administration Portoga Tourisml Designed a free health certificate stamp to distinguish between “clean and safe” tourism enterprises to win the trust of tourists.

Enterprises need to comply with hygiene and cleaning requirements to prevent and control Covid-19 in order to obtain a one-year stamp.

The purpose of this is to promote the recovery of the tourism industry by reassuring tourists of all efforts to ensure protection.

Raul Martins, chairman of the Portuguese Hotel Association (AHP), said that he Hope most hotels The country will reopen in July.

However, like most other European countries, Portugal will have to rely on the business of domestic travelers, while border restrictions remain unchanged.

Eliderico Viegas, President of the Algarve Hotel and Tourism Enterprise Association recently Tell Bloomberg Until next year, he does not want any international tourists in the Algarve region of Portugal.

Croatia

General view showing the empty St. Peter's Square and its main cathedral in the Vatican on April 6, 202

Croatia has suffered from over-tourism before, and now the destination is eager to attract travelers back to the country.

ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images

But like many European destinations, Croatia also depends on tourism, accounting 20% of GDP Officials suggested opening the border to foreign tourists later this year.

However, the current restrictions on foreign citizens may continue until June 15.

Any non-nationals allowed to enter may be ordered to isolate themselves or stay in the government’s official quarantine facility for 14 days, “at the expense of travelers.”

However, officials hope to solve this problem by introducing a special “green corridor” between themselves and the Czech Republic, which was another destination with few coronavirus cases as early as this summer.

This actually means that any Czech tourist who can provide proof that he is not infected with the virus will be allowed to enter Croatia.

Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli (Gari Cappelli) said in an interview with state-run television: “We have discussed with the Czech Republic, they will prepare the proposal, we will prepare our proposal.” HRT radio.

Switzerland

On November 20, 2016, the photo taken in Montpellier in western Switzerland shows the cities of Vevey (below) and Montreux (background) on Lake Geneva. /AFP/FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should be FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

On November 20, 2016, the photo taken in Montpellier in western Switzerland shows the cities of Vevey (below) and Montreux (background) on Lake Geneva. /AFP/FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should be FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

By mid-May, Swiss border crossings with Italy, France, Germany and Austria will all be reopened, less than two months after they were blocked by Switzerland. Federal Council Due to the pandemic.

But this does not mean that everything is back to normal when traveling domestically.

Currently only Swiss citizens and permanent residents and persons who must travel to Switzerland for professional reasons are allowed to enter Switzerland.

Plans to restore domestic tourism are moving forward. Museums, bars and restaurants will reopen this week, and then the hotel will open at the end of May.

Eastern Europe

Prague

The Czech Republic was one of the first European countries to close the border in March.

Share resource

Croatia is not the only country with which the Czech Republic may share the “green corridor”.

Proposals for a similar arrangement with Slovakia (one of the first European countries to ban international passenger travel) are clearly in the pipeline.

Both countries have banned borders with non-citizens and residents, as well as Ukraine, Hungary and Poland, and must carry out a 14-day compulsory quarantine for anyone from abroad.

Although the governments of the aforementioned countries have not clearly indicated when to reopen the border, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia must now wear masks in public places.

Since countries such as the Czech Republic and Slovakia have expressed interest in opening up international tourism only to less affected destinations, it can be fair to assume that officials will not rush to welcome those destinations that are severely affected (such as the United Kingdom and the United States) Travelers, as well as Spain and Italy.

Scandinavia and Northern Europe

On May 8, 2020, in the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, two ducks stand next to a couple who enjoy the warm weather in Stockholm’s Konstrad Garden

The Swedish government chose not to issue a blockade

Jonathan Naxstrand/AFP

As one of the only countries in Europe that does not blockade, Sweden has few restrictions on lifting restrictions.

However, its borders are still closed to countries outside the European Union, the European Economic Area or Switzerland, and these measures will be temporarily retained.

Deputy Prime Minister Isabella Lovin admitted that the country’s tourism industry has been “extremely severely hit” due to the lack of tourists.

Lowen said that suggesting a more lenient approach means that it is wrong to do business in Sweden.

She recently told a multi-regional publication: “The biggest misunderstanding and misunderstanding is that life in Sweden is still going on.” local. “Absolutely not.”

“Many small businesses have succumbed because output has fallen or dropped a lot.

“This is not as usual in Sweden, but on the contrary, things are very, very difficult.”

Nearby Austria is planning to gradually return to normal, and the hotel will reopen on May 29.

of Geniesserhotel “Dead Forelle” In Carinthia, it was one of several agencies that was forced to close its doors for months before preparing to welcome domestic travelers.

“We want to provide our guests with a relaxing and enjoyable stay, and of course, we make sure to comply with all hygiene regulations.” said Hannis Mueller, who runs the hotel.

At the same time, Denmark plans to lift its remaining lockout restrictions by the second week of June.

The country’s prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, had previously spoken about the possibility of reopening the border, warning that it might move things in a “negative direction.”

“This may help to move the infection in a negative direction. Of course, the border must also be understood based on what is happening in the countries around us.” Frederiksen continues to advise Denmark not to reopen the border until “at least” .

Iceland imposed temporary internal border controls last month, banning all foreign nationals, except nationals of the European Union and related European countries.

Since April 24th, all people from abroad must complete a 14-day quarantine.

The Nordic countries are currently preparing to reopen to eliminate some of the losses caused by the closure.

The Icelandic government is expected to begin relaxing restrictions on international arrivals on June 15.

Although the full details have not been confirmed, it is believed that passengers can choose to be inspected or quarantined for two weeks upon arrival.

Foreign Minister Goodlawur Thor Thordarsen said in a statement: “Although Iceland is an island, it has always prospered through international trade and cooperation.”

“Only after three cases of the virus were diagnosed in May, we are ready to open the door to the world again.

“Although we remain cautious, we are optimistic about being a country that can successfully begin to return to normal.”

Baltic countries

Vilnius, Lithuania

Lithuania will join the Baltic States Estonia and Latvia in the “travel bubble”.

PETRAS MALUKAS/AFP/Getty Images

Due to the pandemic, the borders of the Baltic countries Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia have basically banned foreign visitors.

But from May 15th, both parties will lift restrictions on each other’s citizens, thus creating the EU’s first official “green corridor” or “travel bubble.

The new agreement will take effect on May 15th, and in the states decided to move all three “Successfully managed the spread of Covid-19 And trust each other’s health care system. “The Lithuanian government said.
Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said: “We have made it very clear that only countries that successfully handle the situation can open themselves up. This is a good example.” Said in a statement.

“I think we will stick to this principle when dealing with countries where the situation is very bad and no measures have been taken to control the spread of the virus.

Skvernelis continued to suggest that Poland and Finland could be invited to join.

However, any country traveling from outside the “Bubble” will be quarantined for two weeks.

Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas said: “This is a big step towards a normal life, Tweet After the announcement.

CNN’s James Frater, Max Ramsay, Lindsay Isaac, Stephanie Halasz, Al Goodman, Mick Krever and Elinda Labropoulou contributed to this report.

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