The restrictions mean that most of us are stuck indoors for most of the day, with the exception of essential purchases and our daily exercise.
There have already been vacations and canceled flights across the country, with the potential for the tourism industries to remain inoperative for the months to come.
Amidst all the worry and uncertainty of the current situation, many of us are anxious to get closer to normal – with vacations that seem to be the perfect tonic once it’s all over!
Airlines recently announced that flights – for tourism purposes – should not resume before June at the earliest, but will other countries accept British vacationers then?
We discussed the future of overseas travel last week, but during this rapid global crisis, the situation may change – so here are the latest suggestions from our European neighbors.
It is important to note that this is likely to change because, in the end, no one really knows what will happen or when.
As noted earlier this week, Spanish officials have suggested that the tourism sector will not reopen anytime soon.
Government Minister of Labor Yolanda Diaz noted that the vacation industry is not a priority at this time and will likely be part of a second phase of restrictive easements.
She said, “We are working on two de-escalation phases, one for the summer and one for the end of the year.”
The first phase should include general employment, which would be a “gradual process”.
Some non-essential workers have already returned to work last week, although the lockout should remain in place – for the majority of citizens – until the end of May at the earliest.
The tourism and leisure industries are expected to reopen after the first phase, ideally by the end of the year.
The country’s beaches are currently banned as well as swimming in the sea, with speculation that tourists will not be greeted in Spain until June.
France recently extended the lockout until May 11 in a similar move to the UK, suggesting that things will not return to normal for our European neighbor for at least a few more weeks.
Its borders remain closed to non-European citizens and it has been suggested that this should continue until September.
We are still considered EU nationals, technically, until our membership officially ends at the end of the year – so I hope British tourists will be able to return to France before that date.
But as iNews reports, the country’s tourism sector is expected to remain closed until mid-July – although this is just an estimate and could be expanded or reduced in the coming weeks.
Another indication is that the Tour de France has been postponed to the end of August, suggesting that tourism in the country should start to recover by then.
Germany, Greece, Italy and other countries of the Schengen area
According to reports earlier this month, health officials in Germany suggested there wouldn’t be much tourism this summer.
Klaus Reinhardt, president of the Medical Association, reportedly told local media, “I don’t think the Germans can go on vacation this summer. “
It therefore seems unlikely that tourists will be allowed to visit the country if the citizens themselves are not allowed to go on vacation.
In fact, it has been suggested that the vast majority of Europe will limit tourism this summer, as French President Macron has discussed.
He reportedly warned earlier this month that the external borders of the Schengen area – an area where most EU members have abolished their internal borders – could remain closed until September.
This would mean that American citizens and other third country nationals are unlikely to visit countries like the majority of Western Europe anytime soon.
Such a policy is unlikely to affect the United Kingdom as we are technically still members of the European Union and the European Economic Area.
However, this indicates that neighboring governments intend to keep travel restrictions in effect for the coming months.
As countries monitor the coronavirus situation and review their restrictions every few weeks, it is possible that official dates and holiday resumption policies will be announced in the coming weeks.
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