At its regular weekly meeting, the EU’s executive body discussed the tourism sector, which due to the coronavirus pandemic has been on of the hardest hit branches of Europe’s economy.
European Commission Vice President for Values and Transparency Vera Jourova said that travel restrictions should be abolished as soon as possible and discrimination based on nationality should be avoided.
"In order to allow the tourism sector to recover, the College of Commissioners believes that travel restrictions should be lifted as soon as possible, avoiding any discrimination based on nationality and taking into account the epidemiological situation," Jourova said after the meeting, adding that there was no discussion of the idea of the so-called COVID-19 passports for tourists.
Jourova announced that in mid-May the EC would present proposals to support the tourism sector, as well as guidelines for certain types of transport. According to the EC, tourism faces three main problems: liquidity and consumer confidence, the consequences of travel restrictions, and the social and economic consequences.
Instead of offering a full refund, as stipulated by European regulations, many agencies are offering vouchers. The commissioners say that while they are aware of the industry’s liquidity problem, it is important to respect the rights of tourists, and have suggested making the vouchers more attractive.
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