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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case EU-2021-9/1782 – measures in European Union

Restoring the European tourism sector and air connectivity: Call for a coordinated approach

Country European Union , applies eu-wide (or beyond)
Time period Open ended, started on 24 February 2021
Type Non-binding recommendations or other texts
Category Supporting businesses to get back to normal
– Other
Author Eurofound
Case created 04 March 2021 (updated 17 March 2021)

Background information

Ahead of the 1 March 2021 Extraordinary meeting of Ministers of Tourism, 14 European stakeholders in aviation and tourism have urged the Portuguese presidency of the EU to put their efforts into the coordination of all restrictive measures related to COVID-19.

According to their view unilateral approaches implemented by the Member States inevitably risk harming the EU both economically and socially. A clear set of coordinated measures will help restore public confidence and is the only chance to save the upcoming summer season. Failure to do so could lead to hundreds of thousands of additional job losses across Europe.

The signatories: Airline Catering Association (ACA), Airline Coordination Platform (ACP), Airlines for Dialogue (A4D), Airlines for Europe (A4E), Airport Services Association (ASA), Airports Council International – Europe (ACI Europe), Air Traffic Controllers European Union Coordination (ATCEUC), Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO), European Cockpit Association (ECA), European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions (EFFAT), European Regions Airline Association (ERA), Europeans for Fair Competition (E4FC), European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), UNI Europa.

Content of measure

The associations call for EU harmonization on the following matters:

  • widespread use of affordable, reliable and rapid tests to ease current travel restrictions;
  • termination of quarantine requirements for air travellers that have already tested negative;
  • clarity on the timing, languages, and exemptions to COVID-19 tests which remains unclear;
  • exemption of vaccinated travellers from testing, quarantine, and other restrictions;
  • use of vaccinations not as a pre-requisite to travel, but to assist in the restart of air travel.

Additionally, set of rules concerning following topics is needed:

  • Form and requirements for vaccination documentation and/or certificates should be urgently agreed upon between Member States so forms can be issued as the vaccine roll-out accelerates.
  • Airlines, airports and their workers must not be responsible nor liable for checking the proper sanitary documentation for embarking passengers.

Use of measure


Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Other groups of workers
Sector specific set of companies
Applies to all citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
EU level social partners
EU (Council, EC, EP)
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative
Form Direct consultation outside a formal body Direct consultation outside a formal body

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: EU level


Social partners have jointly designed the desired activities. The monitoring and implementation phase is with governments and the EU.

Views and reactions

The view of the social partners is supportive of their own initiative.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      H - Transportation And Storage H51 Air transport

This case is not occupation-specific.


  • 24 February 2021: European aviation and tourism requires a coordinated approach to cross-border travel (


Eurofound (2021), Restoring the European tourism sector and air connectivity: Call for a coordinated approach, case EU-2021-9/1782 (measures in European Union), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.