Travelers confused due to the new EU Covid-19 Delta variant rules

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New Covid-19 Delta variant restrictions in EU
Because of the highly contagious COVID-19 Delta variant European countries impose further restrictions on air travel and the free movement of passengers. (Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels)

As recent data shows the COVID-19 Delta variant continues its unstoppable spread. Internationally airlines are struggling to cope with relentless flight cancellations, loss of revenues, and reduced numbers of airline personnel in an industry that has been hit severely by the pandemic.

The impact of infections on sales and the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant has resulted in an even more airline trip cancellations and less bookings just as the air travel industry has been seeing a steady inflow of travelers during the 2021 summer months, according to media reports.

This week, the European Union (EU) confused travelers even more with new restrictions due to the COVID-19 Delta variant. EU decided to restrict further tourists from the US by removing the Americans from the COVID “safe list.”

However, some of the EU member countries did not put into effect the new tough entry rules in order to keep Americans coming, according to media reports.

According to American Airlines Chief Revenue Officer Vasu Raja, airline industry recovery may be even slower as more companies delay reopening their offices in the face of an uptick in virus cases.

“This has been and we expect will continue to be a very choppy recovery,” Vasu Raja, American’s chief revenue officer, said during a Raymond James investor conference.

This week, The International Air Transport Association (IATA) warned that free movement has been compromised and travelers are more confused than ever due to the new EU delta variant rules adopted by some, but not by all of the EU member countries.

“It’s essential that European states come together on COVID-19 travel procedures. The good work done by the Commission and the states to develop the DCC is being wasted by a mess of unharmonized regulations. How can passengers travel with confidence when the rules are so different in each country within the European Union? They can’t be sure if their children need to be tested or not, or if they need to fill in a form on paper, online, or not at all. It’s one Europe Union. People reasonably expect a united approach to managing travel,” said Rafael Schvartzman, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Europe.

“The experience over the European summer shows the travel processes around COVID-19 must also be harmonized and smoothed out. We urge European states to sort out the current mess and give hard-pressed passengers greater certainty over their travel plans,” said Schvartzman.

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Ian Powers is a travel blogger and nature enthusiast. Ian has over 20 years of aviation travel experience.

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