EU stakeholders call for easing of travel restrictions

The travel and tourism sector is urging international governments to adopt the commission’s proposal to reopen the industry ahead of the EU ambassadors meeting on June 11 

The European travel and tourism industry associations are calling on Member States to approve the commission’s proposal, which outlines the plan to start lifting restrictions in the EU.  

Stakeholders within the industry believe safe travel to be a definite possibility this summer, particularly with the rapid vaccination programme alongside pent-up demand.  

London City Airport
Photo London City Airport 

Initially proposed by the European Commission on May 31, the document advises that freedom of movement within the EU should be restored. Specifically, it highlights that vaccinated passengers and people who have recovered from Covid-19 should not be required to take a test or quarantine, travel from ‘green list’ countries should not have any measures in place, and Member States should all agree on a universal approach to testing.  

It was also recommended that immunisation, recovery, or the display of a negative test result should be able to be proven using a digital health certificate. 

“Travel and tourism industry associations wholeheartedly welcome this important initiative towards a coordinated lifting of travel restrictions in Europe,” said the stakeholders. “This is an essential move to restore travellers’ confidence and reopen Europe. We believe that the European Commission has played its part, the industry is ready to ensure safe and responsible travel: we now need Member States to act fast.” 

Incorporating all of these factors, the stakeholders are urging international governments to implement the EU council recommendations for European travel and to refrain from implementing any other restrictions.  

Other suggestions include incorporating free or more affordable testing to encourage freedom of movement, integrating a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) and the digital Covid-19 certification onto one platform to avoid queues, and ensuring adequate resources are provided for staff.  

“There is huge pent-up demand for travel and everyone in the aviation, travel and tourism industries is working on detailed plans to welcome travellers back – so it’s crucially important that everyone plays their part in ensuring that when our sector reopens, it stays open,” the stakeholders concluded.