The travel industry has come to a complete halt due to the spread of COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus, around the globe. We recently reported that Caribbean nations such as St. Lucia and others have announced that they will be reopening for leisure tourism starting in June. It was recently revealed that Italy, one of the European countries hardest hit by the virus, will reopen for tourism in June as well. Despite this change, the borders reopening may not guarantee residents from all countries will be welcomed just yet.
European tourism accounts for 50% of the global tourism sector. Last week, the European Union unveiled an action plan to get its internal borders reopening, sits and to restore all rail, road, air, and sea connections that have been stopped due to the pandemic.
Afar reported that the government of Italy announced that starting June 3, they will eliminate its 14-day quarantine for people arriving from abroad and will open both regional and international borders. However according to the government decree, these new rules only apply to people arriving from member countries of the European Union, countries within the Schengen Zone, as well as the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, and the microstates and principalities of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican.
This move mirrors others around Europe who are working to reopen tourism leaving many to wonder if Americans will soon become barred from the rest of the world because of its disorganized approach to containing the coronavirus outbreak. Other European countries say that there needs to be a phased approach reopening before they can welcome travelers from USA and elsewhere.
“We need a phased and coordinated approach. Restoring the normal functioning of the Schengen area of free movement is our first objective as soon as the health situation allows it,” said Ylva Johansson, EU Commission for Home Affairs to The Local France.“Restrictions on free movement and internal border controls will need to be lifted gradually before we can remove restrictions at the external borders and guarantee access to the EU for non-EU residents for non-essential travel.”
In the meantime, any summer travel plans to Europe will have to be temporarily put on pause.