Easier to travel in the EU
Danish Shipping is looking forward to more predictable and transparent travel conditions after the Council has adopted guidelines for the coordination of travel restrictions.
It is difficult to travel around Europe during COVID-19.
Borders open and close as infection rates go up and down, and countries have different limits for when barriers are lowered.
The EU is now trying to put an end to that. Today, the foreign ministers of the member states adopted new guidelines for COVID-19-related travel restrictions, which will ensure uniform rules in all EU countries.
The recommendation specifically mentions seafarers as part of the group that has an 'essential function' and can therefore avoid quarantine. It is incredibly important, says Jens Valdemar Krenchel, head of Danish Shipping’s EU Representation in Brussels.
“The many different travel restrictions have made it extremely difficult to change the crews on the ships. Many seafarers have had to take an extra-long turn without being able to see their families for an unreasonably long time, so we hope that today's recommendation can make it easier to get the seafarers to the ships and home again, "says Jens Valdemar Krenchel.
Good news for the ferries
The new guidelines contain, among other things, common criteria for determining an area's status as green, orange, red or grey. This status must be determined in relation to all EU countries on a regional and not a national basis. Free movement is maintained when traveling between regions with green status.
Danish Shipping hopes that the coordinated travel restrictions will give a boost to the ferries sailing between Denmark and its neighboring countries.
"Our ferries between Denmark and neighboring countries have had a terrible season, and on several routes, they still have to look far for the passengers. Coordinating cross-border travel restrictions will hopefully make it easier to plan business trips, vacations or family visits across borders. This is good news for our ferries,” says Jens Valdemar Krenchel.
The agreement between the countries is not legally binding, but a recommendation.