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Europe’s Pandemic-Rattled Tourism Sector Braces for Another Tough Year

MIN READFeb 10, 2021 | 19:19 GMT

A large billboard alerts beachgoers of COVID-19 safety measures in Praia do Tamariz, a favorite spot for locals and tourists, on July 29, 2020, in Estoril, Portugal.

A large billboard alerts beachgoers of COVID-19 safety measures in Praia do Tamariz, a favorite spot for locals and tourists, on July 29, 2020, in Estoril, Portugal.

(Horacio Villalobos/Corbis via Getty Images)

European governments are looking for ways to aid their struggling travel and hospitality sectors as slower-than-expected vaccination campaigns and lingering lockdown measures exacerbate the already deep losses they’ve suffered amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Efforts to establish health certificates are unlikely to be sufficient in helping the industries, which will likely require additional state support in the coming months. European countries began their vaccination campaigns between late December and early January. But in continental Europe, logistical issues connected to the production and distribution of vaccines have impeded inoculation efforts. This creates problems for the recovery of Europe’s travel and hospitality sectors, which are particularly important revenue-generators in the south. In recent weeks, several southern European governments have expressed interest in issuing so-called “health passports” that would allow people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 to travel abroad, among other activities. The European Union also discussed issuing a continental “health passport” in late January,...

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