EU could reopen borders to tourists in coronavirus recovery plan

EU could reopen borders to tourists in coronavirus recovery plan

PanARMENIAN.Net - European countries will be advised to open borders to countries with similar coronavirus-risk profiles, under a plan to bolster the ailing tourist industry being discussed in Brussels, The Guardian reports.

The European commission is expected on Wednesday, May 13 to recommend a three-phase approach to reopening borders that suggests EU countries with “similar overall risk profiles” on the pandemic open to tourists from each other’s countries, according to a leaked version of the draft seen by the website Euractiv.

The EU executive has previously voiced unease about “tourism corridors”, whereby member states make bilateral deals to open to each other’s tourists, but now appears ready to accept these arrangements in practice.

The EU includes some of the countries worst hit by the pandemic – notably Spain and Italy – but others such as Greece and the Czech Republic that limited its impact.

Now officials are scrambling to rescue Europe’s tourism industry, which accounts for 10% of EU economic output, more in Italy, Spain, Croatia and Greece.

Austria’s chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, announced last week that he intended to open the borders to visitors from safe countries, such as Germany and the Czech Republic, as part of efforts to protect the Alpine state’s tourism industry.

Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia will reopen their borders to each other from 15 May, creating a Baltic “travel bubble”.

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