Four airlines’ associations have launched Destination Summer, a joint campaign which aims to return restrictions-free travelling for European citizens, under the European Union and national policymakers regulations, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
According to the European Travel Retail Confederation (ETRC), Airports Council International Europe (ACI EUROPE), Airlines For Europe (A4E) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the common European approach should be based on and through:
- Freedom of movement restoration, which will occur with the EU’s digital COVID-19 passport implementation,
- Rolling out affordable, rapid and accurate EU testing capabilities in order to end quarantine requirements and utilise antigen tests,
- Resuming non-essential international travelling by allowing EU travellers from third countries with low infection rates and those vaccinated with EU-authorised jabs.
The European travel and tourism sector, which includes all four associations, encourages aviation, travel, tourism companies, and European citizens who want to travel again to join the Destination Summer campaign by sharing the need and desire to travel again.
According to the Managing Director for A4E, Thomas Reynaert, after 15 months of lockdowns and restrictions, it is now time to resume travelling.
“Our campaign urges policymakers to recognise the speedy, positive impact of vaccinations and scientific knowledge gained in the last year for EU countries to better coordinate and restore free movement for citizens,” he further added.
On the other hand, the General Director at ACI EUROPE, Oliver Jankovec, said that this summer could become unforgettable for travellers visiting Europe if safety measures continue being respected.
IATA’s Regional Vice President, Rafael Schvartzman, said it depends on governments to make travelling happen again.
“According to a recent survey by IATA, 76 per cent of people want to travel to see family and friends as soon as possible. We have the means, with testing and vaccinations, to safely reconnect people and restart the travel and tourism sector in time for summer,” Schwartzman said.
Julie Lassaigne, ETRC’s Secretary-General, also noted that “together we can make the reopening of travel and tourism in Europe this summer a reality”.
The World Travel and Tourism Council has welcomed the COVID-19 passport introduction by the EU countries, noting that this initiative can help travel restore sooner; thus, the economy to revive faster.
Since June 1, Bulgaria, Germany, Denmark, Greece, Czechia, Poland and Croatia have started issuing the first COVID-19 passports for their citizens.
The document will serve as a green pass for travellers to move freely across EU member states without undergoing entry restrictions. All people inoculated with EU authorised vaccines, those recovered from Coronavirus and those that test negative, are eligible to possess one.