May 8, 2021

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Europe is opening up to tourism – but what exactly is the European Union planning?


“It is time to revive the tourism industry in the European Union and to revive friendships across borders – safely.”

This is the opinion of the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. she chirpWe suggest to welcome once again visitors who have been vaccinated and those from countries of good health.

“But if variables arise, we must act quickly: we propose an EU emergency brake mechanism.”

Brussels proposes to ease travel restrictions, with quick access for visitors who have been vaccinated.

However, new proposals can be implemented, modified, or ignored by member states.

These are the main questions and answers.

What does the European Union say?

European countries, especially in the south, have been hit hard by the collapse of tourism. Last summer, a raft of travel restrictions – which in the UK’s case has grown increasingly entangled over the months – drove tens of millions of holidays and billions of euros in spending.

The recommendation from Brussels is: “There is room to ease travel restrictions, especially for those who have already been vaccinated.

This proposal aims to gradually resume travel from third countries in a safe manner, re-launch tourism, especially in light of the summer season, and business travel, thus promoting the recovery of the European economy.

So what does that actually mean for travelers from the UK?

Arrival will be relatively easy once the main summer season starts. Keep in mind that from a tourism point of view, the UK is by far the most important “third country” to the European Union. These new rules are aimed squarely at bringing British tourists back to the beaches.

The European Union says: “The progress in immunizing the population of a third country against the virus must be taken into account when assessing the epidemiological situation in that country.” So the UK can expect to receive a gold star – which could mean that we all welcome a minimum of formalities.

Can people who undergo both capsules get preferential treatment?

Yes, vaccinated travelers will be able to bypass restrictions. The European Union says: “Scientific advice and empirical evidence about the effects of vaccination are becoming increasingly available and consistently conclusive on the fact that vaccination helps break the chain of transmission.”

The European Union also says that children “should be able to travel with their vaccinated parents” as long as they get a negative PCR test result within 72 hours of their arrival in the EU – but stresses that “member states may require additional tests after arrival”

For weeks, Europe has been talking about a “digital green certificate”. Will we need one?

In a surprising move, born of pragmatism, the European Union said it would urge countries to accept “third-country vaccination certificates.”

The proposal says: “Until the digital green certificate regulation is approved and becomes applicable, member states should be able to accept third-country certificates based on national law, taking into account the ability to verify the authenticity, validity and integrity of the certificate and whether it contains all the data. related to.

The UK government has promised to provide vaccinated travelers with some form of official proof once international leisure travel resumes. This should be sufficient for some type of internationally agreed certification to be ready.

What if things got worse?

This is a real concern for many EU countries – especially those in Northern Europe, which do not have millions of tourists every summer and are concerned about the risks that openness to tourism might bring.

A mechanism of “emergency braking” will be introduced if a variable of concern emerges – with entry restrictions intended to “prevent its import and spread.”

Will it work?

The European Commission hopes so. But every country in the European Union is sovereign, and as was made clear last summer – in the race for vacationers, it may turn out to each country on its own.

Denmark has already chosen not to participate, and given the highly variable rates of the Coronavirus across Europe, the chances of a coordinated opening appear slim. The traveler is advised to pay more attention to the policies of individual countries than to European Union announcements.