Madrid Desk, Mar 5 (efe-epa).- Restrictions against coronavirus will remain in place across much of Europe for the time being amid a general upturn in infections, although the possibility of a vaccination passport could be the first step towards a return to travel without jeopardizing the progress made in limiting the damage of the pandemic over the past year.
The planned lifting of restrictions for Easter in Austria is in doubt amid a marked increase in new coronavirus infections.
Restaurants are planning to open their terraces from March 27, while hotels are expected to be able to open from the second week of April.
The Austrian Ministry of Health said Thursday it was “alarmed” by the spike in new infections, which has been gradually rising since the country reopened schools and services such as hairdressers or masseurs a month ago.
The gastronomy sector, cultural events, amateur sports and hotels have all been closed since November.
The Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, thanked the European Commission EC on Friday for adopting the idea of creating a vaccination certificate to facilitate free movement within the European Union, a tool that Greece considers indispensable for the tourism sector, which has been severely damaged by the pandemic, to function.
“When we were the first to raise this issue, we were sure that we would come up with such a solution, and I am very pleased that the Commission openly supports this initiative,” Mitsotakis said in a meeting with EC Vice President Margaritis Schinas.
The commissioner said that on March 17 the EC will present its proposal which, he said, “will be the first step towards a return to travel but without in any way jeopardizing the great sacrifices made by Europeans over the last year.”