Some countries across Europe have started easing their lockdown restrictions. Spain, who has one of the highest death tolls in the world has said it will begin to open up to tourists again but has explained the lockdown will be eased province by province, as opposed to entire regions. Will you be able to travel in Europe this summer?
Can I travel to the EU the summer?
The EU’s Economic Affairs Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni has proposed a gradual lifting of borders, to try and kick-start the devastated tourism industry, so an EU holiday could be a possibility this summer.
Mr Gentiloni said: “Our message is we will have a tourist season this summer, even if it’s with security measures and limitations.”
Despite this, the EU has been clear that if there is a new peak or wave of infection, restrictions may be re-imposed.
Borders have closed across the EU, including the border-free Schengen zone, but states are slowly starting to reopen them.
Austria and Germany have become the latest European countries to agree to remove travel restrictions.
From Friday onwards, there will be random checks in place at border crossing before free movement is expected to resume on June 15.
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said: “We want to make people’s everyday lives easier and take another step towards more normality.”
British holidaymakers have already warned not to expects “lavish” international holidays, with plans for a 14-day quarantine on arrival expected to be in place.
What is the EU planning to do?
The European Commission said its guidance was based solely on safety and non-discrimination.
Tourism provided almost 10 percent of Europe’s economic output and millions of jobs across the 27 member states relied on it.
Commission vice-president Margrethe Vestager said nobody should travel if they are experiencing symptoms or feel unwell in any way.
A phased approach to reopening the tourism industry would begin by allowing seasonal workers across borders.
Ultimately, countries in the EU will decide about its own orders and beaches, but the advice from Brussels remains to keep the situation under review depending on the infection rates.
The European Commission also recommends that tracing apps are introduced throughout EU countries to help contain the virus.
If infection rates still vary greatly across countries, the Commission has suggested starting with travel between states with a similar level of infection.