Fancy a holiday? Good news! On 13 May 2020 the European Commission published guidance for the travel and tourism industry to allow businesses to reopen.

The travel and tourism sector has reported revenue losses of +50% and a reduction in bookings ranging between 60% and 90% compared to the same time last year. The guidance comes as the Government announced that the reopening of hospitality businesses, including hotels, could potentially commence in early July as part of its lockdown exit strategy. The principles include:

  • Instances of Covid-19 must decline to low levels before tourism activities resume.
  • Health and safety of guests and workers is key a priority. Introduce measures to prevent infection and virus transmission and maintain hygiene and social distancing (especially in hot spots, such as hotel foyers where check-in times could exceed 15 minutes).
  • Action Plan in case of infection for guests (up to 14 days after they have left the establishment) and workers.
  • Management of staff to train them on Covid-19 symptoms and decrease their presence in the establishment (e.g. utilising shift work).
  • Information for guests on all current guidance by local public health authorities, as well as specific measures that are put in place and affect their arrival, stay and departure.

The guidance also provides recommendations to the wider tourism industry aimed to increase bookings. These include the issue of travel vouchers as an alternative to refunds, a phased approach to restoring unrestricted free movement and lifting the temporary internal border controls applied by most Member States, and principles for the safe and gradual restoration of passenger transport.