Tourism: back to business too quickly?
Tourism is the sector most severely affected by the coronavirus crisis, according to a report by the EU Commission. On average, eleven percent of the jobs in Europe depend on the industry, and in some countries that figure is much higher, reaching 23 percent in Croatia or 22 percent in Cyprus. More and more countries are therefore opening their doors to holidaymakers - a worrying trend in the eyes of some observers.
Cyprus must bite the bullet
Like other countries whose economies depend heavily on tourism, Cyprus is now facing a dilemma, Phileleftheros observes:
“It is a risk we must take without complaining. We will have to adapt to a new reality full of terrible difficulties. Yes, there is a great risk that everything will be blown up when the tourists come. We will even try to attract them by imposing as few measures and restrictions as possible. Since we make most of our money in the tourism industry, we now have no choice but to wait for the roulette and hope that the ball lands on the number we bet on.”
Only let in those certified as healthy
Utmost prudence is called for in opening Malta to holidaymakers, the Times of Malta warns:
“First of all, the government should select the countries from which tourists are allowed to come. But just allowing planes and ships to come from certain countries is not enough. Each passenger on each plane or ship must be tested or be tested at boarding and any infected person should be forbidden to board. Each passenger should be a resident of those countries. Trans-shipment or flight connections from prohibited countries should be banned. Anybody found to have sidelined the rules on arrival is to be placed in 14 days obligatory quarantine at their own cost or put on the first flight back.”
Absurd obstacles to entering the UK
The Daily Telegraph is unhappy with the British government's plans to oblige all travellers to self-quarantine for two weeks:
“Ministers' insistence that, with the virus beginning to be suppressed domestically, there is a heightened risk of reseeding it from abroad is deeply questionable. Most importantly, why should that stop free travel to other countries - including much of Europe, as well as nations such as New Zealand - that have also broken the back of the virus? There appears to be no scientific rationale for imposing quarantine on arrivals from countries with a lower R-rate or infection levels than the UK. It is not even clear why 'air bridges' should be needed, especially if testing systems and hygiene measures are installed at points of departure.”