The European airlines, as well as accommodation places, have been registering high numbers of bookings just as the COVID-19 restrictions have started to relax.
Even though the summer season has not officially started yet, it is foreseen that the travel and tourism sector in Europe will surpass all levels registered since the beginning of the pandemic, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
According to Reuters, the president of IBA Group, which is a UK-based consultancy and aircraft valuation firm, has said that there is a lot of pent-up demand as people want to visit their families and travel again.
Nonetheless, despite the positive trend, it has been noted that some challenges, especially those related to airport staff, remain.
British Airways is one of the airlines that had to cut the capacity of its staff in the first quarter of the year. However, the airline has noted that it expects to be profitable from the second quarter onwards.
British Airways-owner IAG forecasts that the capacity of this year will reach around 80 per cent of the 2019 levels in the second quarter. As for the fourth quarter, IAG said that it expects the capacity to be around 90 per cent.
With the summer season just around the corner, the majority of EU countries have already relaxed their COVID-19 entry restrictions.
A total of 15 EU / Schengen Area countries have completely dropped all of their rules. Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden, and Switzerland permit restriction-free entry to all travelers.
All persons, regardless of their country of origin, can enter the above-mentioned EU / Schengen Area countries without having to present a vaccination, recovery, or test certificate.
In addition, during a stay in these countries, travelers are also exempt from strict domestic rules. All of the countries mentioned above no longer require travelers to hold valid COVID-19 proof when accessing different public places and events. Moreover, they have also dropped the mask requirement.
The other EU / Schengen Area countries still keep in place entry rules. They continue to require travelers to hold a valid vaccination, recovery, or test certificate upon their arrival.
However, it is expected that the majority of the remaining EU countries will drop or at least further ease the remaining of their restrictions by June.
Previously, SchengenVisaInfo.com reported that Germany, Spain, and Portugal have been registering high number of arrivals and departures despite keeping their entry rules in place. The three countries require all travelers to meet entry rules.
Traveling to Europe in May: Current COVID Vaccination, Recovery & Testing Rules of Entry for Every EU / Schengen Country