Spain proposes to allow direct travel between EU cities with a low number of coronavirus infections, rather than opening national borders, to boost tourism
- Spain has proposed to split all of Europe into “green” and “red” zones
- People could travel freely between ‘green’ zones where the virus is under control
- However, traveling between red zones is only permitted when deemed necessary
- Spain is trying to save its tourist season in the face of an impending recession
- Here’s how you can help people affected by Covid-19
Spain has proposed restarting travel between European zones where the coronavirus has been brought under control to save the summer tourist season.
The plan would divide Europe into zones that would then be coded as “green” or “red” depending on whether the virus was brought under local control.
The green zones would then merge into a network of free travel between them – even if they are located in different countries.
Spain has proposed to split Europe into green and red zones and then resume traveling within green zones as soon as possible, hoping to save the tourist season
Travel in the red zones would be limited to anything but essential travel.
Spanish Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto announced the proposal on Tuesday, saying he hopes tourism will get back on track soon.
Spain, the second most visited country in the world, is desperately trying to restart its tourism industry, which accounts for 12 percent of GDP.
Maroto’s plan appears to be based on a policy proposal from the ESADE Business School in Madrid made early this month.
The plan envisages that each zone will individually apply to the EU for “green” status if they think they are eligible.
Independent testers would then be sent by the European Commission to determine whether a zone is eligible for status.
All zones declared green are then combined into a ‘green zone travel network’ and tourism is immediately resumed.
However, the plan does not specify how the rules would be enforced or who would be responsible for them
For example, how would a country prevent a person arriving in a green zone from going to a red zone while traveling?
Are people from green zones allowed to enter the red zones to travel – for example, to come to the airport?
European leaders have said that tourism after the
How often is the status of each zone reviewed and what would happen to travelers booking tickets when their zone is ‘green’ just to notice that it turns ‘red’ before their trip?
The European Commission has already issued guidance on how countries and airlines can resume travel safely, and stresses that resuming tourism is its ‘priority’.
Measures include masks for travelers, mandatory PPE for staff and airport redesigns to remove or limit areas where people gather.
Travelers should be encouraged to use paperless boarding passes to minimize contact with staff and discouraged hand luggage on airplanes to avoid moving around in the cabin.
Countries are also advised to lift all travel restrictions as soon as possible, although the committee does not have the power to compel governments to do so.
The Spanish Prime Minister has encouraged tourists to book vacations in the country from July, when the rules expected to quarantine arrival for 14 days are expected to be scrapped.
Germany has also raised the prospect of removing travel restrictions within Europe by June 15.
It is also thought that many countries are in talks about opening “airlifts” to circumvent rules that mean newcomers must be quarantined for 14 days.
Even if travel is permitted by law, it remains to be seen whether tourists want to go abroad – given the risk of becoming infected abroad with the corona virus or bringing the disease back home.
Nor is it clear how many flights will be available after airlines, including British Airways and Virgin, have announced massive job losses.