Invited stakeholders in the travel and tourism industry, including the European Travel Commission (ETC), Airlines for Europe (A4E), Airports Council International (ACI), World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), European Union for Retail Travel (ETRC), European Union To intensify the safe restart of tourism and travel as well as to accelerate efforts towards revitalizing the economy across the Union.
Furthermore, the ETC requires the European Union Commission and member states to recognize all seven vaccines approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) and accept antigen tests as an alternative test, as they are faster and more cost-effective compared to PCR tests, TheSchengen.com reports.
According to a press release from ETC, member states must fully agree to the list of vaccines, tests and validity of recognized vaccines. Furthermore, the ETC is calling on the 27-nation bloc to harmonize their children’s entry rules and recognize booster shots and mixed vaccination.
The Travel Committee is also urging member states and the European Union Commission to adopt a single EU COVID exit plan for travel and tourism, including a system for free movement across the European Union, which will replace the color-coded system. Moreover, as part of the exit plan, the ETC is calling on governments to jointly agree on when to end Passenger Locator Locator Form (PLF) requirements and to eliminate hygiene measures such as face coverings and social distancing.
“Simple and clear rules are the same across Europe – in order to avoid a patchwork of exit measures, similar to those we saw at the start of the crisis,” ETC noted.
Furthermore, ETC has strongly supported the establishment of various recognition agreements with third countries to mutually accept COVID-19 certificates and has claimed that the EU COVID-19 digital certificate should become a global standard for digital certificates.
Finally, the Travel Commission recommends that the DCC and PLF be checked online in order to cut the long queues at airports.
“It could become very difficult to manage the situation as traffic volumes continue to recover. Therefore, we are calling on national governments to support the digitization of the verification process by providing a simple ‘OK to travel’ message as part of the online check-in process,” the press release states.
TheSchengen.com recently reported that the ETC has invited the European Union to introduce a new color classification for countries which will be based on the country’s infection, vaccination and hospitalization rates. Moreover, the authority emphasized that a system that relies on the traveler’s vaccination status, rather than the country of origin, would speed up the reopening of tourism and the resumption of domestic and international travel.