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Planning a European trip? Here's what you need to remember

Coronavirus-era tourism will be different, but you can still enjoy it if you remember a few ground rules.

Hengityssuojaimiin pukeutunut perhe Suvarnabhumin lentoasemalla Thaimaassa.
Airline passengers are being advised to wear protective masks. Image: Rungroj Yongrit / EPA

Two out of three European residents travel abroad for vacation at least once a year and Finns do their fair share of summer travelling too. Many are hoping to do the same this year, despite the current pandemic. On Wednesday the European Commission published a list of recommendations aimed at ensuring safety as travel restrictions within the bloc ease up. Here's a compilation of some of them.

General guidelines

  • Travellers are being encouraged to purchase tickets, make reservations and check in for flights online.
  • Airline passengers should wear masks at all times, especially in locations where it is difficult to maintain a safety distance.
  • At check-in counters, baggage drops and pickup points, passengers are advised to avoid queuing or crowds.
  • Passengers should be closely controlled at harbours, airports, train and bus stations and ferry quays as well as at urban transport centres.
  • Waiting area seating should either be removed or spread out.
  • Passengers travelling in the same group may be asked to sit separately as seating on buses and trains will be limited
  • No food, drinks or other refreshments will be allowed on public transport.
  • Tax-free sales outlets will be required to control the number of customers and to ensure they maintain a safe distance from each other.

You can listen to Yle News' All Points North podcast about Finland's summer holiday prospects via this embedded player, Yle Areena, Spotify, Apple Podcasts or your usual podcast player using the RSS feed. Be sure to subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts.

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Audio: Yle News

Air travel

  • Airlines will need to improve air conditioning on planes and install hospital-grade air filters.
  • There should be less movement during flights, so hand luggage restrictions may be introduced.
  • Passengers should check in electronically.
  • Passengers should arrive at airports in good time to avoid queues at security checks.

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Kuvassa on Finnairin lentokoneita toukokuussa Helsinki-Vantaan lentokentällä. Koneet ovat maassa koronaviruspandemian vuoksi.
Airlines will have to make a number of changes to comply with the new guidelines. Image: Silja Viitala / Yle

Road and rail travel

  • Service stations and rest areas should pay greater attention to hygiene. Rest stops or service stations will be shut down if they cannot guarantee public health.
  • Bus passengers should use the back doors and ventilation should come through windows rather than air conditioning.
  • Passengers travelling together should not sit next to each other.
  • Passengers should load their luggage on buses themselves.
  • Rail service providers should increase trains or carriages to ensure enough space between passengers.
  • Seat allocations should be compulsory on all trains.
  • Service providers should encourage passenger to travel during off-peak hours, for example by offering cheaper fares.
  • Tourists should watch football matches on giant screens.

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Turistit seuraavat jalkapallo-otelua suurelta skreeniltä.
Scenes like this will likely be a thing of the past. Image: AOP

At hotels

  • Customers should observe a safety distance in public areas where people gather for more than 15 minutes.
  • The use of masks is recommended in public areas.
  • Hoteliers should create a timetable for breakfast and other meals as well as for the pool to ensure that all occupants do not gather at the same time.
  • There should be a safety distance of at least 1.5 to two metres between people at pools, on the beach, at coffee shops, bars and at restaurants.
  • Large public events such as concerts are prohibited.

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