Life & Leisure

Breton: EU to impose requirements for safe reopening of tourism

Lisbon, May 14 (EFE).- The European Union will establish compulsory requirements to ensure a safe reopening of the bloc’s tourism sector this summer, said European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton on Friday.

Speaking at the High Level Forum for Sustainable Tourism, organized by the Portuguese rotating EU presidency in Porto, Breton said the recovery will take time, but expects to conclude negotiations to issue a Digital Green Certificate by the end of May.

“Member states need to have sufficient capacities in terms of hospitals, testing, surveillance, contact tracing, and so on,” he said ahead of the summit.

Requirements to businesses could include cleaning and disinfecting surfaces frequently, providing masks, and reserving spare rooms for potential contaminated guests, according to Breton.

Breton said the bloc has enough resources to ensure a safe reopening of the hospitality sector, hinting at the vaccine rollout and the digital green certificate.

The commissioner said he is confident that the green vaccination certificate will be available in the summer and that the EU will have enough vaccine doses in mid-July to inoculate 70 % of the bloc’s population.

However, a full recovery will still take some time, and businesses should embrace the digital and green transformation to turn changes in the market into “opportunities,” he said.

During the Forum’s opening session, the Portuguese Minister of Economy Pedro Siza called for a common European framework to relaunch the tourism sector.

Virginijus Sinkevicius, European commissioner for environment, oceans and fisheries, stressed the importance of a strategy to promote sustainable tourism.

Commissioner for Cohesion Elisa Ferreira focused on the need to diversify the sector to overcome seasonal instability.

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