Officials from European Union states are meeting today to decide on the prospects of reviving their continent’s tourism industry.
The discussion follows an initial proposal made by the European Commission (EC), the executive body of the EU, that restrictions on travellers from countries outside the bloc should be progressively relaxed in time for the all-important summer tourism season.
But opinions remain deeply divided. Some countries whose economies rely on tourism want to see Chinese, Russians, British and Americans return in large numbers, while other nations advocate a more gradual opening of borders.
Ultimately, however, the EC can only make proposals – members are free to do what they see fit.
Since March last year, the EU has been closed for non-essential travel, except for visitors from six countries: Australia, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.
The selection was justified by an EU-wide rule which exempted only countries where the Covid-19…