Published on : Thursday, June 3, 2021
As EU countries review the updated European Commission proposal to coordinate the easing of travel restrictions across Europe, Airlines For Europe (A4E), Airports Council International Europe (ACI EUROPE), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and the European Travel Retail Confederation (ETRC) have together launched Destination Summer, with the goal of working with European Union and national policymakers to adopt a harmonised approach for the lifting of travel restrictions – enabling the safe and smooth resumption of free movement for European citizens.
Thanks to ongoing vaccination campaigns across Europe, growing scientific evidence around the efficacy of vaccines, increased testing capacities, and improvements in the epidemiological situation, the prerequisites are now in place to enable the reopening of travel and tourism in a coordinated manner that is consistent with health measures and avoids unfair discrimination between vaccinated/non-vaccinated travellers.
The coalition is calling for a common European approach based on:
The restoration of freedom of movement in the EU, notably via the swift implementation of the EU Digital COVID Certificate;
The roll-out of affordable, reliable and rapid EU testing capabilities, as needed, that allow for the end of blanket quarantines and make use of the growing availability of antigen tests;
A push for a progressive resumption of non-essential international travel through a regular revision of the ‘EU White List’ — and by allowing entry into the EU for travellers coming from third-countries with a good epidemiological situation, and for those inoculated with EU-authorised vaccines.
The European travel and tourism sector, represented by the four associations, is encouraging European citizens wanting to travel again, aviation, travel and tourism companies, their employees and partners, to join the #destinationsummer campaign. This means sharing your need and desire to travel again whilst following clear rules and official information on the safe and responsible ways to do so.
“Freedom of movement is a core European principle and citizens need to be able to move both freely and safely. After 15 months of lockdowns and travel restrictions, it’s time to reunite travellers in Europe. We need to see a coordinated easing of restrictions. Our campaign urges policy-makers to recognise the speedy, positive impact of vaccinations and scientific knowledge gained the last year for EU countries to better coordinate and restore free movement for citizens”, said Thomas Reynaert, Managing Director, Airlines for Europe (A4E).
“There is huge pent-up demand to travel again and we do not want to reopen for summer, only to be in lockdown again. Travelling responsibly means staying safe and healthy so that Europe will have a better chance of a quicker and longer-term recovery. By respecting safety measures, together we can make the summer of 21 one to remember for all the right reasons”, said Olivier Jankovec, Director General at Airports Council International Europe (ACI EUROPE).
“According to a recent survey by IATA, 76% of people want to travel to see family and friends as soon as possible. We have the means—with testing and vaccinations—to safely reconnect people and restart the travel and tourism sector in time for summer. We just need the will and coordination by governments to make it happen”, said Rafael Schvartzman, Regional Vice President for Europe at the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
“Together we can make the reopening of travel and tourism in Europe this summer a reality. This is a key strategy to ensure the health and wellbeing of citizens and the vitality of the whole European travel and tourism value chain in the long term”, said Julie Lassaigne, Secretary General at the European Travel Retail Confederation (ETRC).