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The Travel industry across Europe has been hampered by the third wave of the COVID-19 virus. Lockdowns to some extent exist through the continent and the U.K.

Travelers from different parts of the world are restricted, especially if their country is considered a hot spot. Several European Union nations are extending or re-imposing lockdown measures and those who are allowed to travel to those regions. New variants of the coronavirus, particularly the B117 mutation first discovered in Britain, spread rapidly in Europe. Government officials in Europe recently approved creating an investment into a European Union-wide COVID-19 certification program to help restart international tourism.

Restricting Nonessential Trips

Vacation travel into the E.U. and U.K. seems a long way off. Leaders are discussing restricting nonessential trips across the E.U to contain the virus. Since January 24, any traveler arriving from outside the E.U. must have a test for COVID-19 before departure. To combat the virulent U.K. strain, the E.U. has already blocked all but freight shipments to the E.U from the U.K.

A Country by Country Decision

While the E.U. is attempting to help across the region, each E.U. country maintains its standards for deciding whether foreigners can enter their country. Each E.U. member state also decides and implements its further measures to curb the spread of the pandemic, such as quarantines upon entry from another region or country. Local regulations also differ widely on various social distancing measures and curfews. The E.U. has introduced a traffic light system. Green means that you can visit, while yellow means there are several restrictions, and red means the country is restricted to foreigners.

Will vaccinations Make Leiser Travel Possible?

In February 2021, the E.U. decided to introduce a vaccination certificate for travelers. This certificate is expected to be available by the summer. Some country's like Greece have created bilateral agreements with Israel to allow Israeli nationals to enter Greece if they show the Israeli green pass, which provides proof of vaccination. Denmark and Sweden announced the creation of electronic vaccination certificates. Traveling to specific countries will also require a negative COVID test. Germany will require a negative test for anyone arriving by airplane. Only those with a negative test will be allowed to fly into the country. This requirement is across all countries worldwide. Germany has also announced tighter border controls.

Germany has also instituted a new classification system that divides geographical regions into risk areas. High-risk areas have been banned for most of 2021 in Germany. A transportation ban has been in effect for all transports from countries where the new variants of the coronavirus have spread. The countries impacted by the ban include Brazil and South Africa.

The U.K. Restrictions

The U.K. has been unable to tame the virus and continues to institute lockdowns. To prevent the spread of new coronavirus variants, the U.K. requires high-risk country nationals to quarantine in hotels for ten days. Countries, where the virus has been able to progate have developed variants, such as South American countries and the United Arab Emirates. The arrivals must book a 10-day stay from an approved list of hotels. Security teams at the hotels monitor compliance. Passengers have to pay for their stay in isolation.

The Bottom Line

The upshot is that travel and leisure around Europe and the U.K will not be easy. There is a huge hassle factor as the virus continues to spread. The bottom line is that the E.U and the U.K. only want essential travel and are less concerned about the economic contraction that will hinder economic growth. High-risk travels are taking a risk that they will not be allowed to get on a plane or will need to quarantine in a security hotel for nearly 2-weeks. The situation is not promoting business or vacation travel.

The Travel Industry in Europe and the U.K. Remain Hindered by COVID-19
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