Roman Holiday? Here’s How Europe Will Attempt to Salvage the Summer Travel Season

The town of Melk, in Niederösterreich

By Paul Riegler on 13 May 2020
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A vacation on the Continent this summer may not be a pipe dream, after all.

The European Union announced on Wednesday a plan to salvage the summer season amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

The European Commission outlined guidance for how countries could lift ID checks at borders that were closed due to the pandemic, promulgate health measures for hotels, and get its airlines back into operation, all while ensuring the health and safety of travelers and crewmembers.

The Continent’s travel industry has been badly battered by the pandemic and despite the new measures, things will not be business as usual.

“This is not going to be a normal summer, not for any of us,” the Commission’s executive vice president, Margrethe Vestager, told reporters Wednesday. “But when we all work together, and we all do our part,” she added, “then we don’t have to face a summer stuck at home or a complete lost summer for the European tourist industry.”

The first steps forward came from Austria and Germany, which announced plans to jointly loosen border controls.  German’s interior minister, Horst Seehofer, said all border crossing points with France, Switzerland, and Austria will be opened, adding that guards will no longer check all travelers, as they have been since the restrictions were put into place on March 16.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced on Twitter that, effective Friday, there would be a shift to “random checks” at the Austrian-German border and promised that the border would be fully open again on June 15.  He added that he plans to do the same “with Switzerland, Liechtenstein and neighboring countries in Eastern Europe, provided the infection numbers allow it.”

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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