LONDON – Coordinating travel rules in the European Union has become a politicized process and the rules remain “unpredictable,” according to the CEO of Wizz Air said the airline is seeing “huge” demand for the summer.
“I think the European Union as such has completely collapsed, we haven’t been able to come up with unified measures and an orchestrated approach to dealing with the situation, and it’s incredibly over-politicized,” said József Váradi, CEO of low-cost airline Wizz Air, told CNBCs Squawk Box Europe on Wednesday.
European consumers are eager to fly again this summer and spend some time. However, there are concerns that constant changes to quarantine policies and the need to have Covid tests before and after vacationing may put some travelers off.
In addition, France and Germany recently have restrictions on unnecessary travel from the UK. where a more transmissible variant of the coronavirus, first discovered in India, has spread. Some believe the move after the harshness about delivering Covid vaccines may have been a bit politically motivated.
Váradi said that restrictions on British travelers are an example of how travel rules have been politicized, noting that “if you look at the UK for example, the country is very well vaccinated, better than the European one, so you guys should be within the European Union travel freely. “
“The European regulatory framework remains very volatile and unpredictable, and I think that is really the problem,” said Váradi.
“Nothing wrong with the consumer, nothing wrong with people’s willingness to travel, the problem is government restrictions and their unpredictability,” he added.
Members of the European Union have discussed how they can reopen their economy to tourists this summer. How and when this happens, however, will ultimately be decided at national level and may differ from the proposals of the European institutions. Nevertheless, the 27 EU states are working on creating nations facilitate travel both within the EU and from outside the bloc.
A few tourists take a look at Balos Beach and its lagoon in the northwest of the island of Crete on May 13, 2021.
LOUISA GOULIAMAKI | AFP | Getty Images
Vaccinated tourists outside the EU are allowed to enter any of the 27 EU countries this summer, provided they have received the last recommended dose at least 14 days before their arrival in the EU. However, they can be quarantined upon arrival, depending on the regulations of their destination country and the epidemiological situation in their country of origin.
European citizens can also fly to other EU countries by presenting either proof of vaccination or a negative test. EU citizens now have the option of summarizing this information in a digital Covid certificate.
“Europeans should enjoy a safe and relaxing summer. As the vaccination progresses, we propose to gradually facilitate the travel measures with our common instrument, the EU’s digital COVID certificate, ”said the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, on Monday.
However, quarantines can also apply, but the idea of the EU is to lift this requirement to encourage travel within the EU.
The European travel and leisure sector traded slightly lower on Wednesday morning Wizz Air decreased by 0.6%.