People all over the world are currently dealing with life in lockdown, with nations implementing their own rules to try to flatten the curve and mitigate the spread of COVID19. In the last few weeks, destinations have rolled out plans for lifting some of the stricter measures, and the conversation has turned to when travel will once again be an option. Now, the European Commission has outlined guidelines on how it hopes to resume travel and reboot tourism for 2020.

“As soon as the health situation allows, people should be able to catch up with friends and family, in their own EU country or across borders, with all the safety and precautionary measures needed in place,” a press release said this week. The statement coincides with a package of guidelines and recommendations to help member states gradually lift travel restrictions and allow tourism businesses to reopen.

The outline discusses how the reduced circulation of the virus means that European countries may look to switch from blanket restrictions of free movement to more targeted measures, proposing a phased approach that starts by lifting restrictions between areas and member states with similar epidemiological situations. This means that travel between areas where the situation is improving should be focused on, based on guidance from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). 

France is amongst the countries that has announced easing restrictions © River Thompson / Lonely Planet

The first phases of reopening will see restrictions varying from country to country. Austria, France, Switzerland and Germany are amongst the latest countries to announce that they will begin easing border restrictions, with 15 June being marked as a date when nations are expected to begin allowing international tourists in. Countries have announced their own measures, like Spain, who stated that visitors would have to isolate for two weeks upon arrival, and Iceland, who have mentioned the choice between isolation and a test upon arrival.

The EU guidelines also discuss plans to restore transport services by air, rail and waterways across the EU while protecting the health of transport workers and passengers, and the use of tracing apps that should be voluntary, transparent and cybersecure.

Read more:

Spain will require visitors to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival

Vienna Airport will test you for COVID-19 for €190 so you can skip quarantine

Explore related stories

Chora the capital of Amorgos island in Greece; Shutterstock ID 125430083; GL: 65050; netsuite: Online Editorial; full: Best places to go in Europe; name: Alex Butler
Chora the capital of Amorgos island in Greece

Tips & Advice

27 of the best places to visit in Europe 

Jun 12, 2024 • 12 min read