Travel and tourism associations in Europe are requesting an end to the use of the combined indicators and color-coded Covid-19 travel guidance systems as well as of all travel restrictions for Digital Covid Certificate (DCC) holders irrespective of their country of origin.
The associations, which include ACI Europe, CLIA Europe, ECTAA, ETC, Europa Nostra, HOTREC, FEG and the WTTC, are now calling on member states to move towards a traveler risk-based approach rather than the country-to-country approach currently being practiced, noting that Europe has entered a different stage in its fight against the pandemic. They are also requesting EU states stop using the “White List”.
In a statement, the European Tourism Manifesto alliance, a group of more than 60 public and private travel and tourism organizations, cites a 74 percent vaccination rate in the EU and that “despite the continued spread of the virus at community level, the impact of the pandemic on public health has been brought under control within the EU”.
The associations also mention findings released by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), which has acknowledged that EU travel restrictions have not had a significant impact on reducing virus transmission, hospitalizations, or deaths.
They are also proposing that international travel be made possible with the same conditions as for intra-EU travel: based on vaccination, recovery or a negative Covid-19 test; with quarantine requirements and recommendations against non-essential travel strictly limited to very high incidence or variant areas of concern.
The statement is urging EU leaders to focus on restoring international air travel as quickly as possible building on the success of the DCC in efforts to safely restart the industry and help boost Europe’s economies as soon as possible.
In this direction, the alliance points to the need for EU members to further update and harmonize their travel regulations and restrictions, including agreeing to a single list of recognized vaccines, the duration of tests and vaccination validity, rules for children, as well as on the recognition of mixed vaccinations and booster shots.
“Together with the European Commission, member states need to work on a coordinated EU Covid exit plan for travel and tourism,” the European Tourism Manifesto alliance said.