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EU nations 'should have done better' in coordinating travel restrictions: MEPs

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By Euronews
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EU nations 'should have done better' in coordinating travel restrictions: MEPs
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European Union member states should have coordinated better on travel restrictions in order to have reduced the damage to the tourism industry and the bloc's economy, an MEP has told Euronews.

Pablo Arias Echeverría, a Spanish MEP, says the impact of the pandemic could have been lessened if countries had worked together more effectively.

"This lack of coordination has been one of the great problems that the European Union has had when it comes to addressing or trying to minimise the impact of the pandemic on the economy," Arias Echeverría said. "If we had had more coordination from the beginning, we would probably have managed to minimise this impact in a more solvent way for the industry itself and for the European economy. I think they have acted late and in a disorderly way."

"But it is important to know that they have acted and to know that the Commission has done what is necessary and the Parliament, as well, and the member states have to learn that collaboration is fundamental," he added.

Nearly four weeks have passed since the EU's travel certificate came into effect, but a complete return to normality is still far away in terms of mobility and tourism.

There is one travel certificate for the whole EU, but member states have different rules for travellers.

Germany, for example, has re-established quarantine measures for some countries. Others are continuing to ask for passenger locator forms to be filled in. And all of this uncertainty can be frustrating not just for travellers, but also for airlines, according to the managing director or the Airlines International Representation in Europe (AIRE), Michael Harrington.

"Where we have really tremendous problems is in the verification of these certificates. Each state is responsible for producing certain protocols for the way that these certificates are verified," Harrington told Euronews. "And I can tell you that from a quick survey done, out of these 30 countries there are 15 different ways that these certificates are being verified.