Coronavirus, the global pandemic that has killed over 296,089 people worldwide, has also devastated the tourism industry. In response to this highly contagious virus, many countries around the world have closed their borders and flights, and in return, have restricted billions of people to their homes.
In many countries, the tourism industry is severely affected by introducing various mitigation measures, including the stay-at-home regime. But as summer approaches in the northern hemisphere, many countries in the region whose outbreaks have declined are considering allowing travel.
However, this step can be difficult to take as some countries have tried to relax their restrictions, which has increased the number of new cases. Further new cases were reported in Germany after Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a relaxation of the national lockdown restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the virus.
Moreover, many countries are still struggling with the outbreak and are not even close to containing the situation.
With growing concerns that tourism will fail in its peak season, many countries and businesses are beginning to promote travel more cautiously.
Emirates Airlines announced on Wednesday that it would start limited passenger flights to nine different destinations. It was a surprising announcement that came when the world was still waiting for a vaccine or a possible cure of COVID-19 that causes breathing problems in patients.
The airline previously announced that it would not start flights earlier than July. However, if the pending regulatory approval from the UAE comes into effect, passenger flights are scheduled to begin on May 21.
The nine destinations include London Heathrow, Paris, Milan, Frankfurt, Chicago, Toronto, Melbourne, and Sydney.
The airline also confirmed that it will accept connecting passengers between the UK and Australia at its hub in Dubai.
After the announcement to loosen the lockdown restrictions in Germany, three border points that it shares with Australia were opened. Australian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz approved measures to restore freedom of movement between these two neighbors on Wednesday morning.
In other countries, the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have started experimenting with travel bubbles that allow travel within a group of certain nations.
Also, administrators in New Zealand who have registered a few new COVID-19 cases in the past few days have agreed with Australia to allow inter-travel between these two countries.
Iceland, a country heavily dependent on tourism, with 1,802 COVID-19 cases registered, is working to open its borders from June 15th.
And the European Commission is calling on members of the European Union, and those who have relatively small outbreaks to gradually allow the start of travel.
The union currently has 27 member states and some members such as Italy and Spain have seen a strong impact from the outbreak, while others such as Greece and the Czech Republic have registered fewer cases.
Although tourism accounts for 10 percent of the European Union’s gross economic output, the safety of citizens should not be jeopardized.
Wayne Sims is the Lead Editor for Chroniclex with 12 years of experience. Wayne has been working for Many Large Online Publications for nearly a decade and has published his articles in many prints and digital publications including Erieview Newsstand, Bond Court News and Private Entertainment. When Wayne is not busy writing She likes stitching.