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Gulf tourists await possible easing of EU travel rules

A Ryanair airplane approaching landing at Lisbon airport flies past the Monument to the Heroes of the Peninsular War, in the foreground. (AP)
A Ryanair airplane approaching landing at Lisbon airport flies past the Monument to the Heroes of the Peninsular War, in the foreground. (AP)
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20 May 2021 02:05:50 GMT9
20 May 2021 02:05:50 GMT9
  • Under existing rules people from only seven countries can enter EU

Arab News

DUBAI: European Union countries agreed on Wednesday to ease COVID-19 travel restrictions on non-EU visitors ahead of the summer tourist season, Reuters reported

Ambassadors from the 27 EU countries approved a European Commission proposal from May 3 to loosen the criteria to determine “safe” countries and to let in fully vaccinated tourists from elsewhere, it said, citing sources

Under current restrictions, people from only seven countries, including Australia, Israel and Singapore, can enter the EU on holiday, regardless of whether the have been vaccinated.

It comes as countries in Europe and the Gulf start to ease travel restrictions and airlines add more capacity in anticipation of a busy summer season.

A relaxation of EU travel rule would be a welcome boon for millions of people throughout the region hoping to escape the scorching summer temperatures of the Gulf.

Governments worldwide are balancing the need to help the battered tourism sector get back on its feet with the necessity to protect their citizens and keep infection rates contained.

Earlier this week the Emirates Airline chairman hinted that the UAE could make it off the UK“s travel red list over the next week.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum made the disclosure in an interview with Bloomberg TV at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai.

He said he was hopeful of news about the UAE being taken off the UK red list within the next week. The UK left the EU at the end of last year.

After more than a year of travel restrictions, Gulf residents are expected to spend heavily on holidays this year as borders are opened.

A recent survey from Almosafer, a unit of Seera, the Kingdom’s biggest travel group, found that 80 percent of Saudi respondents were planning to travel internationally within the first six months of borders opening.

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