Destination Summer campaign urges safe reopening of European borders

The Destination Summer campaign is mobilising aviation and tourism employees and individual travellers to urge policy-makers to coordinate and lift travel restrictions across Europe.

Four leading industry associations are mobilising employees and individual travellers to urge policy-makers to coordinate and lift travel restrictions across Europe.

As European Union (EU) countries review the updated European Commission (EC) proposal to coordinate the easing of travel restrictions across Europe, Airlines For Europe (A4E), Airports Council International Europe (ACI Europe), the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the European Travel Retail Confederation (ETRC) have together launched ‘Destination Summer’, with the goal of working with EU and national policymakers to adopt a harmonised approach for the lifting of travel restrictions – therefore enabling the safe and smooth resumption of free movement for European citizens. 

Thanks to ongoing vaccination campaigns across Europe, growing scientific evidence around the efficacy of vaccines, increased testing capacities and improvements in the epidemiological situation, the prerequisites are now in place to enable the reopening of travel and tourism in a coordinated manner that is consistent with health measures and avoids unfair discrimination between vaccinated/non-vaccinated travellers.

The coalition is calling for a common European approach based on:

  • The restoration of the freedom of movement in the EU, notably via the swift implementation of the EU Digital COVID Certificate
  • The roll-out of affordable, reliable and rapid EU testing capabilities, as needed, that allow for the end of blanket quarantines and make use of the growing availability of antigen tests
  • A push for a progressive resumption of non-essential international travel through a regular revision of the ‘EU White List’ – and by allowing entry into the EU for travellers coming from third-countries with a good epidemiological situation, and for those inoculated with EU-authorised vaccines.

The European travel and tourism sector, represented by the four associations, is encouraging European citizens who are wanting to travel again, alongside aviation, travel and tourism companies and their employees and partners to join the Destination Summer campaign. This means sharing their need and desire to travel again whilst following clear rules and official information on the safe and responsible ways in which to do so. 

“There is huge pent-up demand to travel again, but we do not want to reopen for summer, only to be in lockdown again. Travelling responsibly means staying safe and healthy so that Europe will have a better chance of a quicker and longer-term recovery. By respecting safety measures, together we can make the summer of 2021 one to remember for all of the right reasons,” said Olivier Jankovec, Director General of ACI Europe.

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. We just need the will and coordination by governments to make it happen,” said Rafael Schvartzman, Regional Vice President for Europe at IATA.

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