The European Commission has finally published recommendations on opening borders. They are not binding for member states. They recommend the gradual and coordinated lifting of travel restrictions between members or within regions that have a similar epidemiological situation. In addition, the Commission has drafted a series of documents to revive tourism, a key industry for Croatia.
The European package is very precise - it envisions a strategy for the recovery of tourism this year and beyond, and a common approach to establishing freedom of movement and lifting restrictions at the Union's internal borders. But the basic goal is - not to jeopardize people's safety.
“We need to work together to travel across borders safely again. Tourism is a vital part of the European economy, millions of jobs depend on tourism,” said Margrethe Vestager, vice-president of the European Commission.
The EC has adopted a series of measures aimed at ensuring that people can once again travel safely across the continent as governments try to revive tourism and the aviation industry that has been stopped by the coronavirus.
The Commission proposes a step-by-step approach starting with the lifting of restrictions between regions and member states that have similar sufficiently epidemiological situations.
Plenković: We are already talking to neighboring countries
Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said that the documents adopted by the European Commission on tourism and transport are extremely important, and that the discussion on them had been initiated by Croatia and himself.
The prime minister pointed out that a large number of EU members include tourism among their important branches of industry. He is therefore pleased, he added, that the EC has come up with such documents, as proposals to member states, on what to do in the context of pandemic mitigation at the global and national levels.
He also assessed how important it is for Croatia to gradually reactivate its economy, including tourism, with the phased easing of measures, and in that context measures already taken to facilitate border crossings for economic reasons will gradually be more and more in the function of revitalizing tourism.
“Croatia's talks with neighboring countries, who are just as successful in the fight against Covid-19 as Croatia, are on the same track,” said Plenković.
Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli also commented on the measures of the European Commission. “The European Union will have a protocol, we will abide by it, but bilaterally with some countries, such as the Czech Republic, under equal conditions of reciprocity, we will have traffic and tourism will be active in this segment. We also expect a result with Slovenia,” said Cappelli and announced the opening of borders with that neighboring country in a few days.
The announcement of the opening of borders brought a touch of optimism to Dalmatia.
How much did the epidemic affect tourism - the latest data from the Croatian National Tourist Board and the e-Visitor system show - in April there were 99 percent fewer tourists and 88 percent fewer overnight stays than in the same month last year.
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