Summer holidays to go ahead according to Brussels

in News · 15-05-2020 01:00:00 · 1 Comments

The European Commission has called for social distancing on beaches and the limiting of customers in restaurants as some of the measures necessary to be able to resume tourism.

At a time when the Covid-19 pandemic is stabilising in many places in Europe and countries are considering raising some restrictive measures, the community executive has released “a common framework that establishes criteria for the safe and gradual restoration of tourist activities and the development of health protocols for hotels and other forms of accommodation, in order to protect the health of both guests and employees”.
The objective is to give countries guidance for the sector on how to ensure that “people remain safe in hotels, campsites, accommodation or other holiday establishments […] such as restaurants, bars and cafes and to allow people to go to the beaches and other outdoor leisure areas”.
The main recommendation of Brussels is that the resumption of tourist services should come in time for the summer season as long as physical distance is guaranteed and disinfection is reinforced.
With regard to restaurants, cafes and bars, the European Commission believes that “establishments must put in place specific measures to ensure physical distance in common areas where customers can meet for long periods of time - that is, more than 15 minutes – and the definition of a maximum number allowed in each common area”.
Another suggestion is to “consider the allocation of schedules or the provision of reservations for meals or for trips to swimming pools or gyms”.
And “when the physical distance cannot be fully observed, alternative measures must be considered to protect guests and workers, such as the use of glass or plastic panels and the use of masks”.
A distance of 1.5 to two metres is then recommended by the institution “in all common areas” of establishments and, when this is not possible, the use of protective equipment is required, both by customers and by workers.
The same applies to outdoor locations such as beaches and swimming pools, in which “special provisions must be made to allow physical distancing and special hygiene measures are applied”, argues the Community executive in the recommendations made to the countries of the European Union (EU), who should decide on the resumption of their tourist services.
Brussels also argues that “larger events, such as concerts, should be postponed”.
Thinking of the countries’ decision to reopen tourism after stagnation due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there must be criteria such as the need for the contagion rate to be below one, for the country to have guaranteed capacity in its health and testing system and to be able to monitor positive cases, highlights the European Commission in these guidelines.
Speaking at a press conference in Brussels, the vice president of the community executive with the portfolio “A Europe Ready for the Digital Age”, Margrethe Vestager, noted that these recommendations apply “to the summer and beyond”.
“It won’t be a normal summer, but if we work together and do our part [...], we won’t have to spend the summer at home,” said the official.
In these recommendations, the European Commission also points out that it is “likely that, due to the recent epidemic crisis, domestic and intra-community tourism will prevail in the short term”.
For this reason, Brussels insists on promoting proximity tourism, suggesting measures such as the creation of a voucher system, “through which consumers can support their favourite local tourist companies”, in order to provide them with liquidity.
The aim is that these vouchers can be “purchased by consumers from small suppliers who are closed in the tourism sector”, such as restaurants, accommodation or small hotels, to be “later exchanged for services when companies reopen”.


So when can we get rid of those awful masks?

By Fred Doe from Algarve on 18-05-2020 12:29
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