Airlines for Europe urges Member States to coordinate reopening of EU borders and reinstate freedom of movement for European travellers

  • Mutual recognition of health and safety measures must be agreed to avoid drastic measures such as quarantines.
  • Coordinated lifting of travel bans and border restrictions will allow citizens to safely plan and enjoy their well-deserved summer holidays.

Airlines for Europe (A4E) today urged national governments to reopen EU borders in a truly coordinated way and reinstate freedom of movement for EU citizens as quickly and as safely as possible. EU countries must mutually recognise health and safety regulations to avoid measures such as quarantines, which are highly disruptive for travellers and will impede the swift recovery of Europe’s travel and tourism industry.

A4E welcomed recent European Commission guidelines[1] calling for a restoration of freedom of movement in the EU in a coordinated way, based on scientific advice. Ahead of tomorrow’s (20 May) meeting of EU Tourism Ministers, and in line with A4E’s Reconnect Strategy, A4E urges national authorities to:

  • Coordinate with airlines to implement these guidelines, taking into account the specific nature of the air transport sector vis a vis other modes of transport;
  • Ensure mutual recognition of health and safety regulations at a European level. This will ensure smooth air travel within the EU and enable Member States to avoid disruptive measures such as quarantines within its borders;
  • Act in full transparency and coordination for the lifting of travel restrictions and border controls, re-establishing Schengen as quickly and as safely as possible.

Europe’s summer holidays are in sight. Travellers need assurance that they can plan their trips with confidence. For this, we need Member States to implement coordinated and consistent processes and measures across European airports. Equally important, we urge national authorities to adhere to the European Commission’s guidelines calling for ‘individually targeted measures’, as opposed to blanket measures, such as quarantines”, said Thomas Reynaert, Managing Director, Airlines for Europe (A4E).

As airlines begin a gradual return to service in the coming weeks, national and EU authorities must pursue a global and coordinated approach to health and safety measures both in the air and on the ground — with consistent standards across the sector.

Brussels, 19 May 2020

[1] COVID-19: Towards a phased and coordinated approach for the lifting of internal border controls and restoring freedom of movement, 13 May 2020

Note: Wednesday at 14h, the European (EU) ministers for Tourism will hold a video conference on the re-opening of the European borders for tourism. Their agenda states:

“…The Ministers in charge of tourism will exchange views on the recent tourism and transport package presented by the European Commission on 13 May. The package includes guidelines and recommendations to help member states gradually lift travel restrictions and allow tourism businesses to reopen, with all the necessary health precautions…”

An answer to the requests of A4E,