The EU presented a plan to reopen its borders, possibly including the Western Balkans

European Commission; Photo: European Union

BRUSSELS – European Commission presented yesterday a package of guidelines and recommendations to help the Member States gradually lift travel restrictions and allow tourism business to reopen, after months of lockdown, while respecting necessary health precautions, stated in a press release.

European Commission said that they are ready to include the Western Balkans in the plan. Implementation depends on member states, but Brussels expects takeovers to be less chaotic than not being introduced.

The package also aims to help the EU tourism sector recover from the pandemic, by supporting businesses and ensuring that Europe continues to be the number one destination for visitors.

“There are four vital areas that our guidance addresses, to enable tourism in a safe way this summer. Borders, travel, health and vouchers,” said Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager.

She said that the EU needs to carefully reopen borders within Europe and the European Commission adopted guidelines for the Member States on a gradual, coordinated lift of restrictions on free movement in Europe.

“Third, travellers and workers need to know that the places that tourists visit are safe. Hotels and restaurants, beaches and other tourist sites need to run in a way that minimises the risk of passing on the coronavirus. So with the help of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, we’ve put together health and safety guidance, with concrete examples, that explains how to operate these services safely”, she said.