European countries are having a challenging time in reopening while safeguarding citizens against new flare-ups of COVID-19.
New concerns are developing across certain European regions that rising virus cases could have significant implications for intercontinental travel.
Germany’s disease control agency warned against travel to Spain on Tuesday after a recent surge in virus cases.
“We must prevent that the virus once again spreads rapidly and uncontrollably,” Robert Koch Institute head Lothar Wieler told reporters.
“The latest developments in the number of COVID-19 cases are of great concern to me and all of us at the RKI,” Wieler said.
Germany’s foreign ministry told citizens to avoid three regions in northern Spain:
“Non essential, tourist travel to the autonomous communities of Aragon, Catalonia and Navarra are currently discouraged due to renewed high levels of infections and local lockdowns,” a statement said.
Other countries are also warning against travel to and from Spain.
Last weekend, the UK government stunned tourists with the decision to remove Spain from the exempt quarantine list upon arrival in England.
The Spanish government insists regional outbreaks of the virus are isolated, and the country is safe for tourists. Tourism accounts for 11% of the country’s GDP. Many of the tourists come from the UK.
France has also warned citizens about travel to Spain due to rising virus cases.
Spain, Sweden, Luxembourg, and Romania have seen increasing infections in July.
Belgium’s Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes unveiled strict social distancing measures this week aimed at avoiding lockdowns amid rising virus cases.
The thought, heading into the summer, the virus pandemic in Europe would subside, allowing borders to reopen and tourism to flourish. However, with Europe opened for a few months, it appears flare-ups in cases are being seen that will lead to strict social distancing, reduced traveling, and an economic rebound that doesn’t resemble a “V.”
There goes travel and leisure stocks in Europe…