Wednesday, 13 May 2020

A slow opening up of Europe for the holiday season?

The European Union is proposing a gradual lifting of border restrictions in an effort to kick start the tourism industry all over Europe, just in time for the summer season.

"Our message is we will have a tourist season this summer," said economic affairs commissioner Paolo Gentiloni, "even if it's with security measures and limitations."

Most borders are closed within the EU, including the border-free Schengen zone, but slowly countries are beginning to relax restrictions as the economic constraints caused by lockdowns and travel bans are biting hard into the financial stability of many nations. 

Germany is relaxing its controls, just doing random checks from this Friday, and completely free movement from 15th June according to Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who also said "We want to make people's everyday lives easier and take another step towards more normality," despite a recent increase in new infections. 

The EU is basing its guidance on the principles of safety and non-discrimination, saying it wanted non-regulatory plans with countries working together with removing travel bans and then border checks to facilitate the free movement. However, as tourism represents around 10%  of the economic output of the EU, with millions of jobs reliant on it, it may have more to do with pure economics rather than the ease of movement

The plan is to first allow seasonal workers across borders - something that has already started taking place with low-wages agricultural workers from Romania being brought in by the planeload to Germany and the UK. The next step will be lifting travel bans between countries where the coronavirus infections are at a similar level of control and then,  the last phase would be the complete opening of all borders. 

Recommended for you...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Certain parts of the EU never closed it's borders