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UK opts out of EU travel data-sharing scheme

The UK has allegedly opted out of a new EU data-sharing scheme designed to reboot tourism across the continent, eliciting a fresh round of criticism from travel companies. EU travel data-sharing scheme

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The scheme, called Re-open EU, sees member states share real-time information on border restrictions and available means of transport and tourism services, as well as public health and safety measures such as physical distancing or wearing of facemasks. According to the European Commission, the website and app where travellers can find the information have been developed to allow them to make “responsible and well-informed decisions on how to manage continuing risks related to coronavirus while planning their holidays and travels”.

However, a commission spokesperson told the Guardian newspaper that the UK had not provided information for the scheme despite receiving an invitation to participate. A UK government spokesperson said the nation would expect not to be included in such maps because it is no longer a member of the EU, adding that it “regularly shares information on our travel, border and health measures with key partners”.

Responding to the news, Business Travel Association CEO Clive Wratten told BTN Europe: “It’s a great shame to see the UK opt out of this scheme. As a result, business travellers are being excluded from a useful tool that could help get the British economy moving again. We urge the government to reconsider its approach to sharing data.” EU travel data-sharing scheme

Ralph Hollister, travel and tourism analyst at GlobalData, commented: “Delayed reaction to slow the spread and buffer the economic impact of Covid-19, combined with current rules regarding social distancing and quarantining is significantly delaying the recovery of the UK travel sector.

“The UK now seems to be obstructing progress even further by opting out of an information-sharing scheme led by the EU. The failure to adhere to this informative idea could mean that Great Britain will become further isolated from its European neighbours. This reluctance may deter countries from attempting to strike up conversation around setting up air bridges with the UK.”



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