The coronavirus crisis is expected to cause huge damage to the travel industry – and it has already hit tourism just as hard.
As part of lockdown regulations beaches, hotels and attractions have been shut and two-meter distance guidelines have been put in place in many towns and cities across Europe.
The Italian government has warned that holidays may never be the same again as tighter restrictions for popular attractions such as the Colosseum in Rome – which usually attracts crowds – already being considered.
The country is one of the worse in the world hit by the virus, with nearly 30,000 coronavirus deaths and billions lost in tourism.
Spain, however, hopes to reopen its borders but said UK travellers would most likely be off the cards, according to the Mirror.
In the UK, people still face a £60 on-the-spot fine for ‘non-essential journeys’ despite the looming heatwave – and residents are even being advised travels abroad is off the table for the foreseeable future.
We’ve rounded a list of the latest travel restrictions and the Covid-19 situation as it stands for some of the most popular European holiday destinations – and what each Government is planning to do once they begin welcoming back tourists.
You can also check the latest updates from the likes of Ryanair, EasyJet, Jet2 and Tui on when they think they’ll likely resume operations again.
Italy believes that the coronavirus crisis has cost its economy €22billion, while they report more than 205,000 positive cases of coronavirus.
The Italian government has not yet announced when the restriction on movements will be lifted.
Some medical experts advise that social distancing must continue until the end of the year.
Italy’s tourism secretary, Lorenza Bonaccors, said: “It will take one or two years to get back to where we were, but 2020 might as well be written off.
“It is still impossible to say when Italy… will come out of the health emergency.
“This might be the time to move away from mass tourism, towards one more respectful of the environment.
“You will not see the long queues outside the Colosseum you used to.”
The tourism association Corti also thinks the industry will have to change.
They said: “Who will have the courage to get on a high-speed Freccia Rossa (train) carriage filled with 80 passengers or a low-cost airline with 270?”
Spain appears to have reached its coronavirus peak as their death toll has evened out.
But when holidays resume is still under discussion according to the Spanish tourism minister, Reyes Maroto.
Speaking to Spanish newspaper El Pais, she said: “We have to guarantee, when international tourism opens, that the person who comes to Spain is a safe person…
“The issue of borders will be accompanied by the evolution of the health crisis.
“Therefore, I do not have the solution of when [they will be able to open].
“On how you will be able to enjoy our beaches, we are defining different scenarios.
“It is very important that the sanitary recommendations are maintained, we are going to have to internalise what we are already doing now, hand washing, social distancing … even on the beaches.
“Those patterns will be in our day to day for a time; you cannot take a step back.”
Tourism minister Harry Theoharis has spoken about “specific new rules” for tourism in Greece during the coronavirus.
The Institute of the Greek Tourism Confederation estimates that the country’s tourism industry will make just 30% of what it made in 2019 due to the pandemic, and they fear for the knock-on effect on the economy.
But if the warm weather brings a reprieve, the body says Greece could open to holidaymakers in July.
Mr Theoharis said: “If we are to think of the possibility of travelling this year it has to be under specific new rules.
“We have to have new rules for hotels, new rules for beaches, new rules for pools, new rules for breakfast buffets, new rules for tour buses.”
Regulations could include temperature checks and blood tests as passengers land in the country.
He said: “Once measures are relaxed, a good month will be required to prepare the ground for the [tourism] engine to get started.
“Tour operators are waiting and hoping we can come up with the right rules so that we can start bringing visitors in. We have to strike the right balance … be cautious, tough it out and make the best of it.”
Like Greece, Cyprus is hoping that they could be back on the map by July – but most likely not for UK travellers.
Despite only having 817 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, Cyprus has strict lockdown measures in place – but ministers are keen to pick up its tourism.
Officials say the island will see a loss of €1.5billion in tourism.
Cyprus Deputy Ministry of Tourism, Savvas Perdios, said: “We hope to know in a few weeks when tourists will be able to come from these countries.
“The important thing is that travel agent have Cyprus in mind…there are positive signs from Germany, Switzerland, Austria, the Nordic countries, Greece, Israel and perhaps the Netherlands.”
Turkey plans to allow tourists to visit if they can provide a certificate to prove they do not have the coronavirus.
Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said the normalisation phase in Turkey could start as early as mid-May.
He told Turkish media that holidaymakers would need an official document detailing their health status while new measures are also to be introduced across the tourism industry.
He explained an immunity certificate would also be required of international visitors.
He said: “This will probably be an example to the world that we have developed. By gradually including all NGOs in the commission, we aim to finalise this certification system quickly in the first week of May.”