Tourism MEPs Push for Uniform Travel Measures for Summer, Call for Establishing a New Travel Agency

EU criteria for safe and clean tourism as well as a common vaccination certificate recognized by all Member States should be a part of a new EU strategy to create sustainable tourism, according to an announcement published by the European Parliament announcing the passing of a draft resolution on the issue.

Parliament, according to the announcement, state that travelers have a demand for “safe and clean and more sustainable tourism.”

The Parliament is asking Member States to implement common criteria for safe travel and to implement EU health protocol for testing before departure. This could include creating an EU hygiene certification seal that could certify minimum measures have been met to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and restore third country nationals’ trust in traveling to Europe.

In addition, the announcement states that quarantine measures should be used by Member States only as a last resort.

MEPs are also pushing for a common vaccination certificate similar to the “vaccination passport” implemented by several Member States already, but for third country nationals coming into Europe. This is contingent on when sufficient evidence is gathered that confirms that vaccinated individuals do not spread COVID-19.

Passenger locator forms have also been a topic of discussion for Parliament, who is now stressing that Member States rapidly begin using them universally, as well as developing “voluntary, interoperable, and anonymised tracking, tracing, and warning apps.”

In a major development, MEPs are also calling for the creation of a European Travel Agency for Tourism and replacing the 2010 measures, in order to maintain the EU’s status as a top destination internationally.

One of the goals for parliament is to create these common measures before summer, which is Europe’s busy season in tourism.

“With summer just around the corner, we want to avoid past errors and put in place uniform travel measures, such as an EU protocol for tests before departure, a vaccination certificate, and a European sanitary seal. Tourism is one of the sectors that has been hit the hardest by this pandemic. It needs to be properly included in the Member States’ recovery plans and a mechanism to clearly show whether it benefits from EU support”, said EP rapporteur Claudia Monteiro de Aguiar (EPP, PT).

The resolution mentioned all things listed above and passed in the tourism sector of Parliament with 47 votes in favor of and 2 votes against. It now needs to be voted on by the full house of Parliament, possibly during the March II session.

The tourism industry accounts for about 10% of Europe’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employs about 27 million people, all of which have been hurt in some way since governments started shutting everything down due to COVID-19.

For more information about what is happening in Europe with tourism and travel restrictions, please visit the Re-Open EU website, available by clicking this link or the html link below.

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