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.
These industry bodies are working with the European Union (EU) 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. This needs to not only be consistent, but also avoid unfair discrimination between vaccinated and non-vaccinated travellers.
Restoring freedom of movement in the EU
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 return of non-essential international travel through a regular revision of the ‘EU White List’ – by allowing entry into the EU for travellers coming from third-countries (do you mean Third World countries? Not sure so haven’t changed it) 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, aviation, travel and tourism companies to join the #destinationsummer campaign.
Moving both freely and safely
Thomas Reynaert, Managing Director of A4E, commented: “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.”
Rafael Schvartzman, Regional Vice President for Europe at IATA said that ccording to a recent survey by IATA, 76 per cent 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.”