Not more than four weeks ago as new cases of coronavirus spiked and peaked across Europe, the prospect of catching a plan or a ferry to another European destination seemed unthinkable. As varying degrees of lockdown were implemented across Europe, few would have considered the possibility of spending a holiday abroad this Summer.
Yet, in a significant turnaround over the past few weeks, triggered by guidelines issued by the EU regarding the re-opening of borders, travelling for work or leisure in the continent seems now to be realistic possibility.
Many European countries depend on tourism to varying degrees, and have been spending millions of euro to keep employees in this sector in employment. It therefore comes to no surprise that tourism ministers around the EU are seeking ways to have some form of Summer taken place on their shores. Some countries are easing restrictions on each others, and while the European Commission has called for a coordinated approach, some have pushed on with bilateral agreement for border reopening.
The EU has recommended in its plans, that countries with similar corona infection levels would first relax borders with each other, prior to a full return to travel. However, strict safety measures will be implemented to ensure the necessary social distancing protocols are observed. Holidaymakers who travel within these “bubbles” will not be expected to quarantine, otherwise defeating the purpose of such agreements.
These travel bubbles are based on mutual reciprocity and not always following a geographical reasoning, if one considers, for example, the Denmark-Greece agreement being one of the first to be on the agenda.
Malta has so far suspended all passenger flights until the end of this month and anyone flying in through repatriation flights was expected to quarantine for 14 days. Neighbouring Italy should be opening its airports for internal and external flights on 3rd June.
The research team at Ci Consulta is continuously monitoring developments within European states. Should you require further information, please contact us and through the support of our geopolitical team, we will provide you the assistance required.