EU unveils guidelines for travel, tourism


The European Commission unveiled a series of measures aimed at ensuring people can start traveling safely across the continent again as governments try to revive tourism and airline industries brought to a halt by the coronavirus.

Below are the general guidelines for air, rail, water and road travel and steps for each mode of transport:


* Passengers will be encouraged to buy tickets, reserve seats and check in online.

* Passengers should wear facemasks, especially where physical distancing measures cannot be fully observed at all times. These do not need to be medical masks.

* Physical distancing should be ensured at security checks and luggage drop-off and collection.

* Dedicated lanes should be set up to keep passenger flows separate at ports, airports, train stations, bus stops, ferry landings and urban public transport hubs.

* Hubs should remove facilities that encourage crowding, such as benches, tables or, rearrange them to ensure distancing.

* Fewer passengers may be allowed on board buses, trains or ferries, and passengers who are not from the same household may be seated apart.

* Transport staff should have adequate protective equipment.

* Sanitizing/disinfecting gel should be available and vehicles cleaned and disinfected regularly.

* Food, drinks and other goods may no longer be on sale on board.

* Duty-free shops and other travel retailers should control passenger movement with floor markers and restrict customer numbers, boost cleaning and set up barriers at till points among other measures.

* Contact tracing and warning measures with the use of mobile apps could be used on a voluntary basis. Such apps should be able to function across borders.


Protocols will be outlined by regulators in the next few weeks and should include:

* Ventilation should be strengthened, with hospital-grade air filtering and vertical airflow.

* Movement needs to be reduced in the cabin, such as less cabin baggage, fewer interactions with the crew.

* Passenger flows should be managed with early arrival times at the airport; prioritizing electronic/self-check-in; minimizing contacts at baggage drop-offs, security and border control points, boarding, and during baggage collection.

* Preordering of on-board services and meals should be, where possible, done at the time of booking.


* Terminals, rest areas along motorways, parking, fuelling and charging stations should maintain high levels of hygiene.

* At stations, passenger flow should be managed. [Reuters]