THE European Commission plans to approve this Wednesday the criteria outlining the three-phase deescalation of the emergency situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The plan will cover a set of guidelines – for lifting border controls, transport, tourism and consumer protection – to guarantee an orderly return to ‘normality.’

The Commission document, to which EL PAIS has had access, establishes the criteria to advance from the current situation of restricted movement, Phase 0, to a general lifting of border controls within the EU, Phase 2.

Phase 1 will be critical in seeing travel restrictions and border controls phased out across the EU. Crucial, in part, to save the approaching summer tourist season.

Each EU country will go through Phase 1 at its own pace. The key component to enter this phase will be based on reaching and maintaining low levels of COVID-19 cases in each member state.

800px Luxembourg Schengen Moselle Eu Flags 02esd
Luxembourg Schengen Moselle Eu Flags

Phase 1 will facilitate travel for professionals and for those members of the same family who live in different EU member states.

The three phase EU-wide deescalation plan to be outlined this Wednesday comes following a statement from the European Commissioner for Economic Affairs, Paolo Gentiloni, who said ‘we will have a summer tourist season.’

The former Italian Prime Minister acknowledges that it won’t be an ordinary season, but he is confident that up to 60% of tourism in the countries most affected by COVID-19, such as Spain, can be saved.

Guidelines to relaunch the tourism sector involve security measures to be implemented in transport and accommodation at holiday destinations and avoid discriminatory treatment between the States of the Union once borders reopen.

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