Travel agents urge Europe to adopt common approach on travel restrictions

FILE PHOTO: People wearing protective face masks walk, as Schiphol Airport reduces its flights due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Amsterdam, Netherlands April 2, 2020. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw/

The European Federation of Travel Agents’ Associations (ECTAA) insists that European leaders and the European Commission must adopt a common approach to travel restrictions and Covid-19 testing, insisting that failure to do otherwise was causing untold harm to the economy.

In a statement, ECTAA highlighted that new travel restrictions were coming in place every day, affecting people’s ability to travel cross-border. These, it said, had a massive impact on people’s lives and on the global economy.

While ECTAA noted that the travel and tourism industry was among the hardest-hit, travel restrictions ultimately affected all industries.

It thus insisted that Europe needed to coordinate its travel restrictions, urging the rapid adoption of a proposal to this effect which includes common criteria for risk assessment and a common colour-coding system to map designated risk areas.

The federation also insisted that quarantine requirements for travellers should be replaced by testing.

“We need European political leaders to act now, as we are very close to the collapse of the travel and tourism industry, which will have a cascade effect on other economic sectors,” ECTAA president Pawel Niewiadomski maintained.