First of, let's not all panic just yet. The true decision may not come for several more days as EU officials are in talks throughout the rest of this week on how to reopen the EU for outside visitors starting July 1st. (Nothing like waiting until the damn last minute to figure this stuff out right EU?) You think they could've sorted this weeks ago...Anyways my rant for the day.
For all my clients, readers and travelers who (just like me), heard the EU would be opening certain countries for all foreign entries in July, and went ahead and planned a last minute or rescheduled a summer trip to Europe on this information, do not yet throw your hands up in the air and say 'Not Again, Now What!'
I've said this in several blog post before this one, but the EU's decisions do not necessarily have to be abide to by all EU states. It's not always that simple.
Recommendations made by the European Commission are not mandatory — decisions on whether and how to open up borders are matters for individual states to determine.
Meaning (just like in the US), every state can decide for itself.
Say the EU recommends every state ban US arrivals effective 7/1. But say Greece refuses this recommendation and allows US arrivals, and determines it's own policy for entry. (Which btw they already have weeks ago). Greece would actually have to back step massively from it's original plan if it wanted to enforce a new EU ban. The chaos this would cause to Greece's tourism economy would be devastating. For weeks now Greece has been promoting that upon arrival a random amount of people from each international flight would be rapid tested, sent to their hotel in Athens for 1 night while awaiting results and then can continue traveling throughout the country. You can imagine just how many US travelers have scheduled summer trips to Greece and her stunning islands.
Think about all the airlines that have released summer availability and schedules to fly to European countries starting in July and have been taking reservations for weeks now to bring US travelers back to the EU for summer vacations. I've seen flights relisted for Lisbon, Paris, Amsterdam, Athens, Madrid, Barcelona among others. What craziness this would entail for the airlines to have to cancel & or reschedule all these travelers again.
Another question I would have is how long would this potential ban be for? Weeks?
Is it really worth the madness this new ban would cause to hoteliers, airlines, and local tour operators who were all ready to welcome back US travelers to help kick-start the economic tourism recovery that the EU is so critical of.
There is a very simple way to handle this, the likes of what Greece is doing as well as some states in the US like Maine. The answer? You need to be tested negative, be that before departing the US or on arrival like the Athens, Greece. If this is so simple for Greece to decide and put into action, then why can't all EU states such as France, Spain, Germany & Italy do the same thing?!
It's honestly not that hard, it's not making it a requirement of all arrivals, just US arrivals in this situation. The EU states can control this easily, flights landing directly from any US city, upon disembarkation, before or after passport control you are rapid tested and told to stay in your hotel for the rest of the day. They create a mobile app, and your result is sent in the app while you go to your hotel. If negative then your good to go. If positive then your contacted by officials and told to remain in your hotel, you must quarantine, your hotel is notified of the positive result as well.
In the end I guess the decision is $$$$$$$, either the EU loses tens of millions in tourism revenue by trying to enforce a EU wide ban on the US, or they spend it on the personal & equipment needed to do arrival rapid testing and contact tracing. You'd think the answer would be an easy one?
Personally I think if people want to travel they should be allowed to, as long as they adhere to the health & safety policy of the country(s), they are visiting. Require a mask? wear it. Don't want to wear a mask, then don't go. You're going to have to wear one in the airport, on the plane anyways. So you're n0t getting overseas without wearing one. If you think you are, then please do not book your plane ticket, hotel, tour, anything, simply do not travel if this is your mindset in these times. If however you're willing to follow requirements, ready and wanting to travel, then the world is waiting for you to feed your wanderlust. At least to the extent of whatever countries are welcoming us travelers.
I have clients who are medical professionals who are booked, ready and waiting to travel.
I have honeymooners who are just awaiting the destinations they want to goto to reopen.
I have avid cruisers who would fly & get on a cruise now in Europe if they could.
The world tourism economic recovery is just awaiting a green light.
Avenue Two Travel
Luxury Travel Advisor