Many Americans are watching the skies with fear as the seasonal flu season comes upon us. In January many people are worried about the seasonal flu and how it will affect their families. Many Americans have also been praying that this cold and flu season would see a complete end and travel to Europe full and open once again. But, unfortunately, the latest outbreak of the “yang disease” has thrown a monkey wrench into the works, with more travel restrictions and cautions being in force across the region.
Travel to Europe is still popular year round, but the height of the season is traditionally June and July. With the recent outbreak, it has been harder to get a visa to leave the United States and many flights have been canceled or altered to avoid the mass cancellations that have come about. The world’s biggest tourist destination has suddenly become a no go zone for tourists. Worse still, many who had already booked flights to Europe have had their reservations cancelled as airlines scramble to fill empty seats.
Travel to Europe has become a nightmare for holiday makers as the mass closures have left airports and ports with very few passenger spaces. The situation is even more dramatic at the land borders, where Greece and Italy have imposed a total travel ban on each other. Both of these countries have completely closed their borders, cutting off the majority of travellers who were trying to get into either country. Italy has also implemented a similar measure, while Greece has been met with a partial government imposed travel ban on citizens from certain ethnic communities.
In the past, the most important criteria for travel to Europe was that you needed to have a passport from one of the European Union member countries. That all changed with the start of the global recession, which saw the EU member states in recession. Instead of the member states applying for the necessary visas for tourists, they started searching for tourists with financial resources. With the onset of this new policy, anyone coming from outside Europe with a potential financial contribution to the EU could not enter the country. Now any non-EU financial contribution was punishable with an entry visa, making the country of origin much more strict when it comes to travel to Europe.
There are still some travel restrictions enforced by the EU member states, especially for those coming from outside the EU. While you can still travel to some of the countries in Europe by using a visa, you may face some additional charges and restrictions. For example, all passport applications require an interview with the Garda. This will be followed by a formal examination, normally by the EHIC, which tests the applicant’s knowledge of the English language as well as their knowledge of the legal system in their home country.
In addition to the aforementioned travel restrictions for EU citizens, there are also some travel restrictions that apply to EU citizens traveling to some of the European countries in central and southern Europe. These include Austria, Cyprus, Finland, Iceland, Malta, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, and Slovenia. These countries are all former members of the Eastern Partnership (Euratomnichka) and are therefore not part of the European Union. As such, the travel laws applicable to them differ from those applied to EU countries. For instance, all regulations concerning the movement of people are stricter, and the same is true for the laws regarding residence and work.
One of the most notable instances of the recent rise in international traveler’s arrivals has been the number of tourists who visit Greece. The reasons for this spike in visitors are numerous. Among these factors include the onset of the new year, the summer season, favorable weather conditions, and the port of Piraeus, the main departure point for all international travelers to Piraeus Greece. On June last year, the International Summer Festival took place in Piraeus, causing an increase in both tourist and passenger traffic into the city. This was the largest influx of tourists to any Greek port in recent history.
Because of the recent upsurge in visitor numbers, the sale of tickets for flights and accommodation in Europe has increased tremendously. As a result, restrictions have been placed by several airlines and hotels, which may vary from airline to hotel and from country to country. In order to facilitate the journey of many international travelers to Europe, cheap flights have become available through various online travel agents. The availability of these flights has considerably decreased the impact of restrictions on individual countries, thereby allowing people to visit their favorite destinations despite the recent economic downswing.