Paris May 11, 2021 (AFP) – The European Commission is working to create a European Health Passport for travel between European Union countries, which is expected to operate before the end of June. Meanwhile, several countries have begun to take measures to reopen their doors in the face of the tourist season.
– Spain – In 2019, Spain welcomed 83.5 million foreign tourists, a number that made it the second largest tourist destination in the world, but in 2020, it was severely affected by COVID-19, the country followed its frequency, recording a decrease of 77%.
With bars, museums, restaurants and theaters opening without interruption since June 2020, the Madrid region – a place with fewer restrictions in Spain – has in recent months been a paradise for European tourists who can get there and participate in all the entertainment offered with one requirement: take an exam Negative PCR performed in as little as 72 hours.
Since Sunday, curfews have been suspended and Spaniards are also allowed to leave their cities, with the exception of the Balearic Islands and the Valencian community, who had to obtain permission from the court to do so.
Tourism accounts for 14.1% of GDP, according to the World Tourism Council (WTTC), which brings together the world’s leading tour operators.
France – France, the world leader in visits – with 90 million tourists in 2019 – announced a multi-stage reopening schedule beginning May 19, when its stores, museums and theaters will reopen with limited spaces, as well as amphitheaters.
On June 9th, cafes and restaurants will be able to receive people inside, tourists will be welcomed to present a health passport, and on June 30 everything will return to normal.
This schedule is subject to a condition that the pollution rate remains below 400 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
Otherwise, the sanitary “emergency brake” can be activated.
Greece – Greece, which reopened its balconies on May 3, is betting on its “Covid-19-free” islands, in an effort to complete the vaccination by mid-May to accommodate the millions of tourists who visit each year.
Private beaches open their doors from Saturday, museums open on May 14, open-air cinemas from 21 – at low capacity – and theaters on 28.
Since mid-April, a mandatory seven-day quarantine has been suspended for travelers permanently residing in the European Union, the Schengen area, the United Kingdom, the United States, Israel, Serbia and the United Arab Emirates.
Tourism accounts for more than 20% of Greece’s GDP, according to the WTTC.
Italy – In order to return foreign tourists, Italy intends to present the national vaccination passport from the second half of May, one month before the European health passport, announced by the European Commission, comes into force.
This authorization will allow travel to all regions and will be issued in accordance with the conditions of the European passport: vaccination or infection with covid-19 virus, proof of serological testing or presentation of a negative test for the virus.
Tourism Minister Massimo Garavaglia said this safe Italian behavior “is good for everyone, and therefore also and especially for tourists outside the European Union”.
He explained that “the United States and the United Kingdom make up more than 30% of foreign arrivals to Italy, and they are tourists who spend a lot.”
The peninsula also hopes to be able to lift the quarantines imposed on visitors from other European Union countries, the United Kingdom and Israel until mid-May.
The mandatory quarantine of those coming to the United States will be lifted in June.
Cruises have also returned to service in Italian ports. Now, bars and restaurants can serve their customers abroad.
Italy welcomed 64.5 million travelers in 2019, according to the World Tourism Organization (WTO).
Malta – The island of Malta, which welcomed 2.8 million tourists in 2019, according to OMT, presents a check of up to 200 euros per person for stays of at least three nights in a high-class hotel.
This offer is limited to the first 38,000 reservations.
Depending on the development of the epidemic in the tourist’s country of origin, Malta may require proof of vaccination against the new Coronavirus or a negative PCR test performed in less than 72 hours.
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