- The letter also voiced a demand to abolish mandatory quarantine for EU citizens entering other EU countries.
- On Wednesday, the European Commission plans to present a plan for the gradual opening of internal borders in the EU.
- Questions remain over Europeans' beloved summer holidays.
Representatives of the largest conservative faction in the European Parliament— the European People’s Party (EPP)— are demanding that European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen take steps to abolish border controls in EU countries from 15 May. This is stated in a letter circulated on Tuesday.
The letter was signed by many heads of national delegations of the party, which makes up the faction in the European Parliament. The letter also voiced a demand to abolish mandatory quarantine for EU citizens entering other EU countries.
Conservatives believe that at the initial stage of the pandemic, border closures were justified. Now, however, the situation with the spread of coronavirus in the EU is at about the same level, so the restrictions have lost their meaning.
Plan for Gradual Opening of Borders
On Wednesday, the European Commission plans to present a plan for the gradual opening of internal borders in the EU. The news sources say this process could stretch over several months.
According to Worldometers, which monitors the situation with the spread of coronavirus, Europe has nearly 1.7 million cases of COVID-19 and 157,218 deaths. Over 700,000 are reported to have recovered.
Tourism in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic
There is still a lot to understand about this year’s summer vacations and holidays. There is no doubt that a large number of workers in Germany and other EU countries will definitely want to exercise their legal right to leave during the warmer months of the year. Yet, the question remains, where will they go?
In Western Europe, country houses are not very common, so the option to “spend the summer in the country” for many Europeans is eliminated. “Vacation in the Balcony,” as the Germans ironically call a vacation at one’s apartment, is unlikely to suit the middle class. This is especially true after prolonged home isolation during quarantine.
There are many indications that 2020 will be the year of domestic tourism in Europe, including car tourism. After all, it will not be easy to fly, even to not so distant warm lands. Air travel is unlikely to be restored quickly in the previous volume, and many people simply do not want to use planes or stay at airports for fear of infection. Not to mention that it is not clear when and what borders— and hence tourist destinations— will be reopen.
The boom in domestic tourism in Germany will bring rising prices. Many regions of Germany are now counting on the relatively rapid recovery of domestic tourism, which boasts not only cultural and historical monuments, but also beautiful nature. An example is the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein, with its resorts on the North and Baltic Seas.
The prices for beach holidays in Germany, which were already quite high, may rise even more, as the many traditional lovers of the Baltic and North Seas and islands will be joined by those who prefer them to the southern seas. Rising prices are likely to occur in the popular seaside resorts of Belgium and the Netherlands, which are also easy for people to reach by car.