The Network for the European Private Sector in Tourism (NET) calls on Member States to follow the coordinated approach proposed by the European Commission to restore freedom of movement. NET however believes that this renders quarantine measures at national level redundant. NET also calls on Member States to provide information to the Commission for a website collecting and mapping practical travel and tourism information to allow better planning, to be launched immediately.
The 2014-2019 NET welcomes the criteria proposed by the European Commission in its Communication on transport and tourism to reintroduce freedom of movement across the EU and to lift internal border controls. Epidemiological (focusing on areas where the public health control of the virus is comparable), ability to apply containment measures and economic and social considerations are advisable criteria in place at national level.
NET fully supports that these criteria are based on the principle of non-discrimination, so that when Member States decide to welcome visitors into their territory, they allow travel from all areas, regions or countries in the EU with a similar epidemiological condition. While restrictions should be lifted regardless of nationality, companies will follow all needed health and safety protocols to help rebuild public trust.
NET is convinced that if Member States follow these guidelines, intra-European quarantine requirements for travellers can be avoided. Furthermore, NET believes that the perceived risk of quarantine will strongly dampen demand for intra-European travel, discouraging many from making a trip and effectively undermining the opening of the borders. In any case, should a traveller be quarantined, there should be an option for repatriation.
NET welcomes the Commission’s intention to launch a website mapping information from Member States and the travel industry, which includes detailed and up-to-date information on the situation of the borders of all EU countries (air, land, border), travel restrictions, public health and safety measures, areas to go to in case of health issues and available tourism services across the EU. This will facilitate business planning as well as travel planning of prospective visitors. With the holiday season about to start in four weeks in some Member States, this website must be operative as soon as possible, even if with – initially – limited content.