European travel and tourism associations have written to the European Commission’s president pleading for an end to quarantines and the development of a “common” EU testing protocol for Covid-19 across the 27 member states.
More than 20 groups have signed a letter to Ursula von der Leyen saying that the “continued lack of co-ordination and diverging travel restrictions are crippling their business”.
“This chaotic situation requires your immediate personal involvement,” says the letter.
“We are thus urging you to make this issue a top priority and calling on you to address this issue directly with heads of state and government.
“We are therefore also urging you to ensure that the commission takes the lead in the development of an EU testing protocol for travel and its implementation to avoid quarantines and reopen borders.”
The 24 associations to sign the letter include Airports Council International (ACI) Europe, Airlines for Europe, European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Associations, European Travel Commission, European Regions Airline Association and European Tourism Association (Etoa).
The letter stresses the damage being done to the European travel industry by the pandemic with passenger traffic at European airports down 73% year-on-year during the first two weeks of September.
Luis Araujo, president of the European Travel Commission, added: “European travel and tourism has suffered a devastating blow from the coronavirus crisis due to insufficiently co-ordinated border restrictions, declining traveller confidence and reduced consumer demand.
“The industry simply cannot afford to have a similar fragmented picture with inconsistent and constantly changing national approaches for the upcoming autumn and winter seasons.”