Coronavirus: New rules for tourists as Europe thinks of ways to welcome people safely | UK News


Sunbathing on a packed beach is off the cards this summer, as the future of European travel is set to adapt to some changes.

Countries across Europe are trying to figure out ways to entice tourists to come back despite coronavirus remaining a threat.

Europe was at one point the epicentre of the COVID-19 outbreak, with more than 1.3 million cases and 156,000 recorded deaths across the continent.

But in places where tourism accounts for much of the economy, officials are considering changes to how hotels, resorts and nightclubs can operate under the world’s new way of life.

Here are some of the countries making new tourism rules…

Cyprus

A deserted beach is pictured in the Cypriot resort town of Ayia Napa on May 4, 2020, as the island country gradually eases its lockdown restrictions placed for the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. - Cyprus revealed a plan to gradually ease coronavirus lockdown measures and reboot the Mediterranean holiday island's economy. The Republic of Cyprus, which controls the southern two-thirds of the divided island, had imposed strict measures soon after its first novel coronavirus cases were confirmed on
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4 May: Cyprus is slowly lifting its lockdown. This is a deserted Ayia Napa beach

The Mediterranean island of Cyprus is considering asking tourists to take a COVID-19 test prior to their arrival.

Travellers could also be asked to disinfect their luggage and reception desks may be put behind screens, while cleaning staff could be dressed in full protective gear.

The island’s deputy minister for tourism, Savvas Perdios, said south Cyprus will look to bring tourists from nearby countries that have controlled the virus well, including Greece, Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

Portugal

Some tourists wearing protective masks while walking around Lisbon, Portugal
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11 March: Some tourists wearing protective masks while walking around Lisbon, Portugal

Southern European tourist hotspot Portugal will likely award hotels a “Clean&Safe” seal to help tourists safely choose accommodation.

The seal will indicate that the establishment, be it a hotel, restaurant or other venue, has enacted recommended hygiene and safety procedures to protect against the virus.

Other changes being adopted include hotel guests not being able to check in to their rooms until 24 hours after the last occupant has checked out, allowing time for thorough cleaning and airing of the space.

Some hotel guests may get exclusive use of their own sunbed and buffets are unlikely to be offered, though room service is expected to thrive.

And on the beach, sunbathers will be told to stay 1.5 metres apart with umbrellas at least three metres apart.

There will also be new signs and an app using a traffic light system of red, yellow and green indicating which beaches are full, partly full, or have few people. Paddle boats and water slides will be completely prohibited.

The Portuguese government said hotels intend to start opening from 1 June, but discos will be the last places to open.

Greece

A tourist visits the Parthenon temple on the archeological site of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece
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18 May: A tourist visits the Parthenon temple on the archeological site of the Acropolis in Athens

Direct flights to Greece from the UK are due to resume on 1 June, with some domestic flights and ferries operating.

Travel to Evia and Crete from the mainland will be permitted, while all other islands are restricted, and all arrivals must self-isolate for 14 days.

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Tourists will be expected to wear masks in shops and on public transport and taxis will only take two people at a time. Large gatherings such as sporting events and festivals are unlikely to return this summer.

Travel updates for other popular European tourist hotspots…

Spain

Spain is hoping to welcome back foreign visitors by late June. File pic
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Spain is hoping to welcome back foreign visitors by late June. File pic

Hard-hit Spain will likely have to wait until late June to welcome holidaymakers back, despite having a tourism-dependent economy.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is preparing to ask parliament to extend a state of emergency until 27 June, with the strict lockdown measures so far helping to limit infections and COVID-19 related deaths, which stand at 27,709.

Spain has made some changes, lifting a ban on direct flights and ships from Italy which have been imposed since 11 March.

However tourism restrictions and a 14-day quarantine for inbound travellers remain in place.

Italy

Restaurants are among the businesses in Italy reopening again on Monday
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18 May: Restaurants are among the businesses in Italy reopening again

Once the active centre of the European coronavirus outbreak, Italians are slowly regaining their freedom and have enjoyed being able to sit down at a café or restaurant, shop in all retail stores, and attend church this week.

However, travel restrictions remain firmly in place and they will not be able to travel outside their regions except for work or other strict necessities until next month as lockdown rules are slowly eased.



Church interior is disinfected in Verona



As restrictions ease a little in Italy, popular spaces have been deep-cleaned, including the interior of this church.

International travel to Italy will be possible from 3 June, but not for tourism. Only people who officially reside in Italy but are currently overseas may return home, and anyone who can prove they need to enter the country for urgent work or health reasons.

France

Clients are queueing in front of the Cedric Grolet bakery shop on Avenue de l'Opera
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11 May: Queue in front of the Cedric Grolet bakery shop on Avenue de l’Opera in Paris, France

Emergency measures in France are currently set to be in place until at least 24 July, with the government banning non-essential trips and requiring overseas visitors to self-isolate.

Talks are ongoing to negotiate how the border crossing between the UK and France would work to ensure the spread of COVID-19 is contained.

Borders with Switzerland and Germany are due to reopen from 15 June, but no date has been announced for borders reopening to non-essential travel by UK nationals.



Sky News

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