(CNN) – The world’s largest tourist playground has been broken since it has become a coronavirus epicenter, but Europe as a summer bench is desperate to lift restrictions to allow visitors to pump a lot of cash into difficult economies.
On the continent, various countries currently sitting behind the firewall of quarantines or sealed borders find how they can meet vacationers again.
Last week, the European Union announced an action plan to reopen its internal borders, safely fire the hospitality industry and revive rail, land, air and sea connections that drowned during the pandemic.
It is a highly anticipated by millions of European travelers after being locked up at home for weeks or months.
“We all need to take a break, especially after this imprisonment,” said EU internal market commissioner Thierry Breton. Said. “We want to enjoy the summer holidays, we want to see our families and friends even if they live in another region, in another country.
“But we want to be able to do this while remaining healthy and safe because we know that the virus will remain for us for a while.”
The EU currently advises all member states to restrict all non-compulsory visitors from outside. However, when infection rates drop in some countries, this seems to change.
Some countries such as Greece and Italy already call certain dates. On Saturday, Italy announced plans to reopen its internal borders next month, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that most of the EU’s internal borders will be lifted by June 15.
Some countries with low or sharply decreasing infection rates are even allowed to allow special “green corridors” or “travel balloons” that will allow a few points to open until the borders are fully reopened.
These movements are supported in the EU plan, which suggests “sufficiently similar epidemiological conditions” among member states, that is, lifting restrictions between the same rate of coronavirus infection.
Visitors from outside the EU may still experience an indefinite wait.
The EU plan also sets out a roadmap to allow people to take time in the gym or swimming pools to develop health and safety protocols for beaches, hotels, campsites, hostels, cafes and restaurants to protect guests and employees.
It also aims to strengthen rules that give passengers the right to choose between vouchers or cashback for canceled transport tickets or package trips.
EU member states have also agreed on protocols to ensure that monitoring practices run across borders, so citizens can be warned about a potential infection with the coronavirus when traveling within the block.
“This will not be a normal summer, not for any of us,” Margrethe Vestager, deputy head of the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm. Said. The roads set by the commission today, then we do not have to face a summer stuck at home or a summer that is completely lost for the European tourism industry. “
While these new measures help bring order to a somewhat chaotic travel situation on the continent, it remains a fluid one.
For now, if you plan to travel to or within Europe in the coming months, you need to know:
France is the most visited country in the world, but the coronvirus crisis has injured tourism here.
PHILIPPE LOPEZE / AFP / AFP via Getty Images
Travelers who are at the top of the list of places to go when the coronavirus crisis disappears with France should prepare themselves for a long wait.
From today to at least 24 July, anyone entering the country, except for EU citizens or those from the UK, will be subject to a mandatory 14-day coronavirus quarantine.
However, hotels may be allowed to continue their business in the coming weeks.
While the French hotel chain Accor closes about two-thirds of its hotels, those that remain open are used to support healthcare and frontline staff and the “vulnerable population”.
“One of the good news is the first recovery in the Chinese hotel market: an encouraging narrative sign,” said Accor spokesman CNN.
While waiting for the government’s green light, workers “set strict security standards and cleaning protocols” to prepare for reopening.
Although a large number of international visitors are not expected in the coming months, much of Accor’s revenue comes from domestic travel, which is expected to increase significantly if the restrictions remain in place while the restrictions are relaxed.
“When the lockout measures soften, the French tourists said they would want to stay close to home in the short term,” the spokesperson said.
“It will be time to rediscover their country and we will be there to welcome them.”
Greece hopes to welcome visitors in early June.
Russell Yan / Pixabay
Greece may become one of the first European destinations to open to tourists again.
The Mediterranean country has managed to keep coronavirus death extremely low, with over 170 Covid-19 deaths so far.
This week, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced that the country will re-open to tourists on 15 June.
“This summer, [Covid-19] “he added.
According to Mitsotakis, direct international flights to Greek destinations will begin gradually starting July 1, and tourists will no longer need to conduct a Covid-19 test or enter quarantine.
However, Tourism Minister Haris Theoharis said that health officials will perform on-site tests as needed.
In addition, the value added tax (VAT) on all transports will be reduced from 24% to 24% to convince passengers.
News, Acropolis, located in Athens shortly after the archaeological site, was reopened with the country’s high school and shopping centers on 18 May.
However, Greek holidays in the summer of 2020 will be very different from previous years for obvious reasons.
“This summer tourism experience may differ slightly from previous years,” Mitsotakis told CNN earlier this month. Said.
“Maybe no bars may be open or crowded, but you can still have a great experience in Greece, provided that the global epidemic follows a downward path.”
Greece’s city hotels are expected to reopen on June 1, followed by seasonal hotels a month later.
Currently, all international passengers must take the Covid-19 exam or quarantine 14 days upon arrival in Greece. Mitsotakis had previously suggested that tourists should be tested as another precaution before their visit.
Even though the country is preparing to receive visitors again, getting there will be a challenge for many.
Mitsotakis uses the flow of “higher level tourists” to re-energize the tourism industry of the country that employs one of the five Greeks.
The new beach protocols in the Spanish town of Sanxenxo will include allocating sunbathing spots on a “first come, first serve” basis.
Courtesy of Diario de Arousa
The crash of Spain proved to be one of the strictest in Europe – children were prohibited from leaving the house at one stage.
However, the popular destination, which hosted 84 million visitors in 2019, is gradually easing the restrictions, beaches reopening in June, and hotels in some parts of the country allowed to continue their business.
However, the authorities are understandably cautious about reopening the country, and current border restrictions prohibiting non-mandatory travel to Spain for all but Spanish citizens, residents and border workers are unlikely to change before the end of the summer season.
“The evolution of the health crisis will be accompanied by the borders issue,” he said.
“So when do I have no solution? [they will be able to open]. We define different scenarios on how you can enjoy our beaches. “
One or both of these “scenarios” have already been described, and some cities have created new protocols to maintain social removal measures on dense sand piles.
Canet d’en Berenguer, a Mediterranean town just north of Valencia, will allow 5,000 sunbaths per day on its local beach when reopened, while allocating entrance to Galicia’s Sanxenxo beach on a “first come, first serve” basis.
Both tear off small sections on the sand to ensure beach players can stay at a safe distance from each other, a move that can show the future of beach visits well.
Earlier this month, a senior government official admitted that the country’s tourism industry could not continue until all internal and external borders within the EU are reopened.
“Much of our economy depends on the movement of international visitors and the Spanish,” he said. Said.
“But we must have a health system that can take care of anyone living in Spain. That’s the main thing.”
Italy is gradually removing restrictions weeks and weeks after locking.
ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP via Getty Images
Italy has become one of the worst hit areas of the epidemic with a “very long” crash brought back in March, but the Beautiful Country will not be deported for longer.
The Italian government has announced that EU passengers will not be allowed to quarantine at “calculated risk” starting June 3, in order for the country’s tourism industry to take action again.
“We have to accept it, otherwise we’ll never start again.”
Currently, along with the rest of Italy, Italy has restrictions on all non-mandatory travels outside the Schengen Area (a group of 26 countries with normally open borders) outside of England.
Passengers from EU countries were required to have a two-week quarantine before entering the country.
The announced measures are an important step in the country’s efforts to restart its economy after more than two months of lockdown.
However, nearby Austria and Switzerland still have severe restrictions on cross-border travel, but many airlines have canceled most of their flights to Italy, so reopening will not be a simple process.
Officials, however, have made it clear that they are willing to mobilize things.
“I have never spoken or thought about closing the borders of Italy to tourists throughout 2020,” Giorgio Palmucci, head of the Italian National Tourist Board (ENIT), told local journalists last month. “I’m working on the opposite.”
All museums, including the Vatican Museums in Rome, will slowly reopen during May. However, strict social distance rules will apply with tickets purchased online in advance.
St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican was reopened on Monday (May 18th) after being closed for more than two months.
Officials in Germany are not in a hurry to reopen their borders.
Maja Hitij / Getty Images
Germany has somehow managed to maintain coronavirus deaths due to important tests and contact tracking, but officials were reluctant to let tourists return.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to stop border checks in the Schengen area within weeks.
“The goal – if the infection process allows – I want to emphasize that – the 15th border controls in the Schengen area can be completely eliminated from June,” he said on Wednesday.
The Austrian Ministry of Tourism spokesperson said the prime ministers of the two countries agreed to open at the first step for day enthusiasts and vehicles at the border. The second step will show a normal reopening from June 15th.
While Germany remains closed to non-EU visitors, most of the border crossings to neighboring countries such as Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France and Switzerland are closed or protected.
Hotels are currently prohibited from hosting tourists, and the majority of flights to and from Germany are grounded.
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has previously raised concerns about the re-opening of targets very quickly, underlining that European countries must come together to decide the best course of action.
UK visitors are required to enter the quarantine for 14 days.
Maja Hitij / Getty Images
The UK government’s decision to offer a 14-day quarantine for all residents, as the residents begin to ease the restrictions for residents, reduces prospects for reviving international tourism here in the coming weeks.
The move, which was launched for an indefinite period, is thought to deter airlines from restarting their flight operations quickly, and officials warned Brits that their summer foreign escape prospects were weak.
“I say, you can’t travel abroad right now. Where is the direction of this virus and therefore where the travel advice is in the future,” asked BBC television interview whether British citizens will book flights in July.
According to current plans, hotels are expected to open in early July, but the UK is expected to focus on domestic travel before making further decisions, as EU restrictions are still in force.
Unfortunately, there are no signs of when this will happen.
Portugal received 24 million tourists in 2019.
Regiao de Turismo do Algarve
Portugal has also begun to alleviate locking restrictions by allowing hairdressers, dry cleaners and repair shops to reopen.
Some restaurants, museums and cafes were allowed to open on May 18th, as well as schools, with low capacity.
However, sunbathers will need to follow Portugal’s social withdrawal rules at an interval of 1.5 meters.
An application that allows people to check whether they have a place on the beach they want is introduced with an offer to prevent overcrowding.
Although it seems that international visitors are suspected to be able to return before 2021, the destination has already taken measures to mitigate the effects.
This applies to accredited travel agencies, hotels, or any bookings made via Airbnbs for travel scheduled between 13 March and 30 September 2020.
Businesses will need to comply with hygiene and cleanliness requirements for the prevention and control of Covid-19 to receive the stamp valid for one year.
The aim here is to increase the recovery in the industry, ensuring that all efforts are made to ensure that visitors are protected.
However, as in most other European countries, Portugal will still have to rely on jobs from indigenous travelers despite border restrictions.
Croatia has been exposed to extreme tourism before, now wants to take back destination travelers.
ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP via Getty Images
However, current restrictions on foreign nationals are likely to remain in effect until June 15.
Non-citizens with entry permits may be ordered to self-isolate at official government quarantine facilities or spend 14 days “at the expense of travel”.
However, the authorities hope to solve this problem by introducing a special “green corridor” between the Czech Republic, another place with few coronavirus cases earlier this summer.
This will mean that Czech tourists, who can provide documents to prove that they are not infected, will be allowed to travel to Croatia.
A picture taken from Mont-Pelerin in western Switzerland on November 20, 2016 shows the cities of Vevey (below) and Montreux (background) in Lake Geneva. / AFP / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should write FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP / Getty Images)
Fabrice Coffrini / AFP / Getty Images
However, this does not mean that things are back to normal when it comes to travel within the country.
Only Swiss citizens and permanent residents, as well as those who have to travel to Switzerland for professional reasons, are allowed to enter the country.
Plans to continue with the domestic tourism sector continue with hotels towards the end of May after the museums, bars and restaurants to be reopened this week.
The Czech Republic was one of the first European countries to close its borders in March.
Pixabay / Creative Commons
Croatia is not the only country where the Czech Republic can share the “green corridor”.
Proposals for a similar arrangement with Slovakia, one of the first European countries to ban international passenger travel, are clearly visible.
Both countries closed their borders to non-citizens and residents, along with Ukraine, Hungary and Poland, with a 14-day mandatory quarantine for everyone from abroad.
Although the governments of the above-mentioned countries are not a clear indication of when the borders will be reopened, it is now imperative to wear face masks in public places in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
It will be fair to assume that the authorities will not rush to accommodate passengers from heavily affected destinations, such as the UK and the USA, as the Czech Republic and Slovakia’s likes expressed their interest in opening international tourism to lesser-affected destinations only. Like Spain and Italy.
Scandinavia and Scandinavian region
Swedish government chooses not to lock up
JONATHAN NACKSTRAND / AFP
As one of the only countries in Europe that do not crash, Sweden has few restrictions to lift.
However, its borders are still closed to countries outside the EU, EEA or Switzerland, and these measures are still being implemented for now.
Deputy Prime Minister Isabella Lovin admitted that the country’s tourism industry was hit “incredibly hard” in the absence of travelers.
Lovin said it was wrong to argue that the more comfortable approach meant business as usual in Sweden.
“Many small businesses are kneeling because production has decreased or has decreased a lot.
“It is not business as usual in Sweden, but vice versa, things are very, very difficult.”
The nearby Austria is planning a gradual return to normal, with hotels reopening from 29 May.
“We want to offer our guests a perfectly comfortable stay and of course we make sure all hygiene regulations are followed,” says Hannes Muller, who runs the hotel.
Meanwhile, Denmark plans to lift the remaining lockout restrictions in the second week of June.
The country’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen previously mentioned the possibility of reopening the borders.
“It can help move the infection in a negative way. Of course, the borders should also be seen in the context of what is happening in the countries around us.” Frederiksen argued that Denmark will not reopen borders until “at least”.
Iceland brought temporary internal border controls last month and banned all foreign nationals except EU citizens and related European countries.
Everyone from abroad has to enter a 14-day quarantine since April 24.
The Scandinavian country is now preparing to reopen to recover some of the damage caused by the closing.
The Icelandic government expects restrictions on international entries to be reduced by 15 June.
Though not all details have been confirmed yet, travelers are expected to be given a test or a two-week quarantine option upon arrival.
“Although Iceland is an island, it has always evolved through international trade and cooperation,” Foreign Minister Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson said. Said.
“With just three cases of viruses detected in May, we are ready to open our doors to the world carefully.
“While we remain cautious, we are optimistic as a country where we can successfully start our journey back to normal.”
The Baltic States
Lithuania will participate in a “travel balloon” with the Baltic states Estonia and Latvia.
PETRAS MALUKAS / AFP / Getty Images
Borders for the Baltic countries were largely closed to foreign travelers due to Estonia, Lithuania and the Latvian pandemic.
As of May 15, however, each will remove the restrictions for each other’s citizens, creating the first official “green corridors” or “travel bubble” of the European Union.
“I think we will adhere to this principle when dealing with countries where the situation is very bad and that do not take measures to control virus spread.
Skvernelis suggested that Poland and Finland may be invited to join even further.
However, anyone traveling from outside the “bubble” countries will need to quarantine for two weeks.
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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