Published on : Thursday, September 10, 2020
The European Tourism Manifesto, an alliance of 60 European private and public organisations that covers the tourism value chain and whole spectrum of travel and tourism products and services recently urged the Member States to urgently decide on a mutual agreement on harmonised travel restrictions in order to help safe travel throughout EU once again so that the travel and tourism sector can overcome the financial crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The travel and tourism industry has been the worst affected sector amid the coronavirus crisis. According to reports, the lack of coordination in travel restrictions has led to lowered traveller confidence and decreasing passenger demand. The latest move follows the EU Commission’s announcement last week where a set of recommendations was proposed to prevent discriminatory measures applied by member states in a new attempt to harmonise fragmented COVID-19 travel restrictions across the bloc.
The European Tourism Manifesto alliance has praised the European Commission’s attempts as well as the initiative of the German Presidency of the European Union Council on re-establishing Schengen Area’s integrity as well as improving cross-border travel harmonisation. The manifesto has called on the national governments to approve the European Commission’s proposal and requested them to begin working on the establishment of a common criteria assessed in a detailed regional level and thresholds on defining the epidemiological risk.
It has also advised to implement common measures upon arrival for all travellers returning from high risk countries as well as an introduction of an organised and transparent process which provides clear, comprehensive and prompt information regarding any travel restrictions. It has also urged the replacement of quarantine with comprehensive and cost-effective testing and tracing programmes and advised to avoid restrictions on the free movement by applying more targeted measures, limited in the geographical scope.
The manifesto also asked to avoid travel restrictions imposed for passengers in transit and urged to co-ordinate on common rules for demanding pre-travel COVID-19 negative test in areas where needed. It also advised to assure the information exchange of contact tracing apps in the EU as well as the coordination of Passenger Locator Forms in compliance with international standards. The European Tourism Manifesto alliance also stated that sector since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic the travel and tourism sector has called for more coordination between the Member States when it comes to travel restrictions and safety measures, considering that better coordination would help protect millions of jobs, livelihoods, companies, among others.