European Tourism Manifesto: ‘Calls on Member States to Urgently Agree on Harmonised Travel Restrictions’

The European Tourism Manifesto Alliance has published a manifesto that calls on the European Union to give the travel and tourism sector of the European economy fair treatment during COVID-19 by at least having Member States be unified in their responses.

The announcement and manifesto say that a unified response and unified regulations might be the key to survival for the sector.

“The European Tourism Manifesto alliance, the voice of the European travel and tourism sector, calls on Member States to urgently agree on harmonised travel restrictions and ensure swift implementation to help the sector survive this unprecedented crisis,” the announcement reads.

They also praised the calls from the European Commission and the initiative from the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union for acknowledging that a unified response is needed, however, just calling for a unified response will not ensure that Member States will have one.

According to the manifesto, the European Tourism Manifesto Alliance is also calling on Member States to approve the Commission’s proposal, and in addition:

  • “Establish common criteria and thresholds for determining epidemiological risk, including a common colour-coding system to identify risk areas. These criteria should be evaluated on a detailed regional level, considering relevant geographical factors (particularly islands).”
  • “Implement common measures to put in place upon departure to and return from risk areas. These measures should be determined with sufficient detail and based on scientific evidence (as there is no reason to restrict travel to entire countries if only certain regions are affected), and comprise:
    • Replacing the need for quarantine of travellers with comprehensive cost-effective testing and tracing
    • Avoiding blanket restrictions to free movement by implementing more targeted measures which are limited in geographical scope
    • Avoiding imposing travel restrictions on passengers in transit
    • Agreeing on common rules for requesting pre-travel COVID-19 negative test results where needed
    • Ensuring the interoperability of contact tracing apps in the EU and the harmonization of Passenger Locator Forms based on international standards.”
  • “Follow a common structured and transparent process to publish clear, comprehensive and timely information about any travel restrictions where these are needed. Information should also be made available on the Re-open EU web platform.”

The European Tourism Manifesto Alliance is “the voice of the European tourism and travel sector.” The organization works to represent the travel and tourism sector to legislators in the EU, provide expertise that could aid policymakers in drafting legislation, and act as a think tank to exchange ideas to solve problems and act on common issues.

The organization was formed mainly in response to EU policymakers not properly understanding the travel and tourism sectors, and as a result not properly looking after the sector. It is a trans-national alliance that represents all travel and tourism sectors from all Member States across the EU, Schengen, and EEA.

It is still unclear whether or not individual Member States will adopt the proposal made by the European Commission or respond to the Alliance’s manifesto.

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