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While the vaccination against Covid-19 continues, European countries are preparing for the arrival of the tourist season, counting in particular on the reopening of shops, bars, restaurants or museums to attract tourists. Overview of the different strategies at work, as the European Commission prepares for the implementation of a European health certificate.
The European Commission is preparing the establishment of a health certificate for travel between European EU countries. A document that she wants operational before the end of June. But several countries have taken the initiative not to lose the tourist season.
- In France, a health pass for tourists
France, world leader in attendance with 90 million tourists in 2019, announced a schedule of recovery in several stages between May 19 when shops, museums, theaters will be able to reopen with gauges as well as terraces, on June 9 when the cafes and restaurants will be able to reopen indoors and tourists will be greeted with a health pass, and a virtual return to normal on June 30.
This schedule remains subject to the condition that the infection rate remains below 400 per 100,000. Otherwise, health “emergency brakes” can be activated.
- Greece and its “Covid-Free” islands
Greece, which reopened its terraces on May 3, is banking on its “Covid-Free” islands to boost tourism. She has worked hard to complete the vaccination of the islands by mid-May to accommodate the millions of tourists who come each year.
Private beaches have reopened since Saturday, museums will follow on May 14, open-air cinemas on May 21 with reduced capacity and theaters on May 28.
Since mid-April, the country has lifted the mandatory seven-day quarantine for travelers who are permanent residents of member countries of the European Union, the Schengen area, the United Kingdom, the United States, Israel, Serbia and the United Arab Emirates.
Cruise passengers are also welcome at the country’s ports, where tourism accounts for more than 20% of GDP, according to the World Trade and Tourism Council (WTTC), which brings together the major operators of global tourism.
- A negative PCR test of less than 72 hours to enter Spain
In 2019, Spain received 83.5 million foreigners, making it the second largest tourist destination in the world. In 2020, the country, strongly affected by the Covid, saw its attendance drop by 77%.
Since June 2020, the Madrid region has kept its doors open to tourists with the sole requirement of a negative PCR test of less than 72 hours. Bars, museums, restaurants and theaters are open. Since Sunday, the Spaniards have also been authorized to leave their region and the curfew has been lifted except for the Balearics (11 p.m.), the region of Valencia and Catalonia (midnight). Tourism accounts for 14.1% of GDP, according to the WTTC.
- Resumption of cruises in Italy
Italy hopes to be able to lift by mid-May the quarantine it imposes on visitors from other EU countries, the United Kingdom and Israel, with presentation of “a negative test, a proof vaccination “or that they” have recovered from the coronavirus in the last six months “, according to its Minister of Foreign Affairs Luigi Di Maio.
>> Read also: PCR test, quarantine, vaccine … Overview of the conditions required to travel to Europe
The quarantine requirement for the United States will be lifted in June. Cruises have also resumed from Italian ports. Bars and restaurants can now serve their customers outdoors. Italy received 64.5 million travelers in 2019, according to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
- Checks to get to the hotel in Malta
The island of Malta, which received 2.8 million tourists in 2019 according to the UNWTO, offers a voucher of up to 200 euros per person for staying at least three nights in a star hotel. This sum, which must be spent on site, is increased by 10% if you stay on the island of Gozo. This offer is limited to the first 38,000 reservations.
Depending on the evolution of the pandemic in its country of origin and by focusing on an evolving map published by the EU, Malta may require to be vaccinated or a negative PCR test of less than 72 hours.