发布者: 千缘 | 发布时间: 2020-5-21 02:32| 查看数: 83| 评论数: 0|

The world's biggest tourist playground has beenroped off since it became a coronavirus epicenter,but as summer looms Europe is desperate to liftrestrictions to get visitors pumping much neededcash into stricken economies.


Across the continent, various nations currently sittingbehind the firewall of quarantines or sealed frontiers,are figuring out how they can once again welcome holidaymakers.


Last week, the European Union unveiled an action plan to get its internal borders reopening,safely fire up its hospitality sector and to revive rail, road, air and sea connections that havebeen strangled during the pandemic.


It's a situation eagerly anticipated by millions of would-be travelers, desperate to enjoy aslice of European sunshine and culture after weeks or months being sequestered at home underlockdown.


"We all need a break, especially after this confinement," Thierry Breton, the EU's internalmarket commissioner, said. "We want to enjoy summer holidays, we would like to see ourfamilies and friends even if they live in another region, in another country.


"But we want to be able to do so while staying healthy and safe because we know the virus willstay [with] us for some time."


Europe accounts for 50% of the global tourism market in terms of arrivals and has beenparticularly hard hit by the restrictions. Normally crowded cities such as Venice, Rome, Paris andBarcelona have stood empty.


The EU currently has recommendations in place to all its member nations that they restrict allnon-essential visitors from outside. But with infection rates dropping off in some countries,this looks set to change.


Some countries, such as Greece and Italy, are already naming specific dates. On Saturday,Italy announced plans to reopen its internal borders next month, while German ChancellorAngela Merkel has said that many internal EU border restrictions would be lifted by June 15.


There's even talk of permitting special "green corridors" or "travel bubbles" that would allowcertain countries with low or sharply declining infection rates to open up to a select fewdestinations until borders are fully reopened.


Those moves have been backed in the EU plan which proposes lifting restrictions betweenmember states of "sufficiently similar epidemiological situations," in other words, the same rateof coronavirus infection.


Visitors from outside the EU could still face an indeterminate wait though.


The EU's plan also sets out a roadmap for developing health and safety protocols for beaches,hotels, campsites, B&Bs, cafes and restaurants to protect guests and employees, such asallowing people to book time slots at the gym or swimming pools in advance.


It also aims to strengthen rules giving travelers the right to choose between vouchers or cashreimbursement for canceled transport tickets or package trips.


EU member states have also agreed to protocols to ensure tracing apps work across borders sothat citizens can be warned of a potential infection with coronavirus while traveling within thebloc.


"This is not going to be a normal summer, not for any of us," said Margrethe Vestager, the vice-president of the EU's executive arm, the European Commission. "But when we all worktogether and we all do our part in the ways the Commission is setting out today, then we don'thave to face a summer stuck at home or a completely lost summer for the European tourismindustry."


While these new measures will help impose some order on a somewhat chaotic travel situationacross the continent, it remains a fluid situation.



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