Despite two rounds of discussion and agreement on a list of countries for which the ban on non-essential travel into the EU can be lifted, ECTAA regrets that Member States are still allowed to pick and choose for which countries they will lift the travel ban. The result is a patchwork of different travel restrictions applied across Europe, confusing citizens and travel professionals alike.
BRUSSELS – The European Council revised yesterday the ‘white list’ of countries for which the ban on non-essential travel into the EU should be lifted. In the initial list adopted by Recommendation on 30 June, Member States agreed to lift the travel ban for citizens of 14 countries, based on the epidemiological situation and containment measures put in place, as well as economic and social considerations. In the revised list, two countries have been removed (Serbia and Montenegro), while no new countries were added.
Despite agreement on a ‘white list’, ECTAA regrets that Member States have not implemented the Recommendation in a uniform manner. Some Member States continue to apply a travel ban for some of these countries. And they still have a negative travel advice warning their citizens to travel to those countries. Surely, if Member States deem it safe for the citizens of white-listed countries to come to Europe, it must be safe for European citizens to travel to those countries.
Said Pawel Niewiadomski, President of ECTAA: “Conflicting travel advices from different countries on the same destination country confuse citizens and undermine the restart of traveling and tourism in Europe. We need more coordination within Europe on the lifting of travel restrictions and travel advisories.”
Moreover, ECTAA regrets that many countries issue blanket travel advisories for a whole country, when problematic areas are easily identifiable and localised. Travel warnings should be specific about the location and the geographical extent of the problems and, whenever possible, include maps and indications of distance.
Pawel Niewiadomski concluded “We need to leave these chaotic policies behind and base decisions for lifting travel restrictions on a scientific approach in order to allow travel and tourism to start up again with confidence.”
Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.
She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.