Tourism

European travellers could holiday in-country if nations find “smart solutions”, says EU

A summer holiday could still be on the cards for Europeans despite the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the European Union.

In an interview with Portuguese news outlet Expresso, the president of the European Commission, Urusla von der Leyen, said that it would be possible to find “smart solutions” for Europeans to take summer holidays.

When asked about the possibility of Europeans taking holidays, at least, in their own countries once the pandemic begins to slow down, von der Leyen said: “I think we are going to find smart solutions to have a summer vacation.

“Maybe a little different, with other hygiene measures, with a little more social distance, but it is impressive to see that we have found solutions. So, I am optimistic about summer holidays.”

One of these measures, developed by Italian design firm Nuova Neon Group 2, could allow people to hit the beach while still social distancing – in plexiglass boxes.

The 4.5-square-metre clear boxes, which stand at two metres high, have been touted as an answer to safe sunbathing at beach resorts.

Furthermore, the design firm’s owner, Claudio Ferrari, said it had received interest from restaurants as a dining solution, with the plexiglass boxes able to be formed in “any size and shape”, as reported by La Repubblica.

Could this be the near future of Italy’s restaurants? (credit: Nuova Neon Group 2)

Inside, the boxes reportedly have enough space for two sunbeds and a beach umbrella, as well as enough space for youngsters to play, all in the safety of a contained booth.

Von der Leyen is now more optimistic of the possibility of travel in-country returning, telling Expresso: “”It is difficult to predict what the next months will be like, but what I see is that we are beginning to learn to live with the virus.”

Her comments come a week after recommending travellers wait before making plans, due to a “lack of reliable forecasts for July and August”, Expresso reported.

Of the 176,984 COVID-19-related deaths recorded by the Johns Hopkins University, more than 84,000 have occurred in four European countries: Italy, Spain, France, and the United Kingdom.

European countries are now beginning to ease lockdown restrictions, including in some of the world’s hardest-hit countries like Spain and Italy, where non-essential workers are slowly being allowed to get back to work.

Politicians have, however, warned this is not the end of the pandemic.

Featured image credit: iStock/yrabota

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