As the coronavirus pandemic is still ongoing, countries across Europe have been implementing increased travel restrictions to ensure public health protection. It is a known fact that the travel and tourism industries of European countries remain as critical sectors that could allow the infectious disease to spread widely
Yet it has become evident that the different border and travel restrictions of each Europan country is affecting the global economy of neighboring nations, as well as the day-to-day lives of their respective citizens. The rising number of travel restrictions that vary from country to country, is making cross-border transport of goods and rendering of services, more difficult to undertake across the continent.
Stakeholders Make a Collective Call for Coordinated and Standardized Travel Restrictions
Various stakeholders represented by different European organizations such as the Copa-Cogeca, EuroCommerce, Eurochambres, Centre for European Reform (CER), European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME United), and European Road Haulers Association, are making calls for coordinated travel restrictions and standard criteria for risk assessments and mitigations.
The aforementioned organizations have issued a joint statement to call attention to the difficulties presented by the different travel restrictions among EU member nations, particularly concerning those that have been haphazardly formulated. The concern is that since the COVID-19 pandemic is now expected to be a long-term crisis, the consequences of such difficulties will ultimately cause damage to the European economy.
Aside from coordinating the way travel restrictions are imposed, the joint statement also called for the immediate adoption of common criteria in the assessment of risks; as well as for the establishment of a standard colour coding system in mapping out low and high risk areas.
Moreover, the joint statement also pointed out travel restrictions that include placing border entrants under quarantine have the same effect as border closures That is notwithstanding the fact that quarantines are periods of isolation that can affect not only people’s lives, but societies and the global economy as a whole. Industry stakeholders through their respective organizations are now pushing for testing protocols prior to departure from high risk areas as replacements for quarantine requirements.