Spring, holidays - but not much joy

For the second year in a row the Easter holidays in Europe are taking place under the shadow of the pandemic. As before Christmas, many commentators see the holidays overshadowed - by the political dithering, frustrated restaurateurs, contradictory regulations on travel and meetings, and the prospect of crowded churches.

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De Telegraaf (NL) /

Churches must not abuse their freedoms

Religious communities are exempt from the ban on assemblies in the Netherlands, but they have been strongly advised to avoid gatherings of more than 30 people. De Telegraaf is concerned that the stricter Protestant churches won't heed these guidelines:

“A special status entails responsibility. ... Fortunately, almost all the churches have shown that they understand this. ... But at Easter the dreaded scenario of overcrowded churches looms. This would be irresponsible. The freedom the churches have been given in the Coronavirus Act must not be abused to allow hundreds of believers to gather. The churches belonging to the strict Reformed denomination must show that they understand the responsibility they bear.”

La Stampa (IT) /

Contradictory chaos

The jumble of regulations and relaxations has become incomprehensible, grumbles La Stampa:

“You can fly to the Canary Islands [from Italy], but only if you don't live in a red zone. Tourists are allowed to come here from France but you can't visit relatives if they live in a red zone. ... But it's not just the contradictions within the country that are making the few days of the Easter holidays more complicated than a Sudoku puzzle. Once again, everyone in Europe is playing by their own rules: one country opens up, the other closes down, yet another opens up for legal reasons but asks accommodation facilities to remain closed, with the result that at best you have tourists without tourism. What sense does that make?”

Corriere del Ticino (CH) /

We can only hope it turns out well

Many tourist destinations are expecting a flood of visitors at Easter. Corriere del Ticino is concerned:

“We can only keep our fingers crossed that the behaviour of the crowds that flock to Ticino in the coming days will be mindful of the delicate situation. And above all we must hope that no further social tensions arise at a time when the tendency is to observe the behaviour of others rather than examine one's own conduct. ... Many contradictions remain, for example in the restaurant sector, where anger and frustration are spreading. We can understand the anger of the restaurat owners, whose businesses have been closed for 97 days without them receiving any concessions, while hotel restaurants are allowed to operate. ... Let's hope this Easter is happy - and doesn't turn into a nightmare.”