Europe Travel Industry Scrambles As Shares Tumble

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The travel insurance industry has been through a big 18 months

There was news this week that with the Austrian government putting its population once more under lockdown (from Monday 22 November), airlines and travel agencies lost $2.2 billion off their shares, as reported by The Guardian. IAG (the owner of British Airways), for instance, saw its shares drop by 3.8%, losing £300 million ($400 million) off the company’s market capitalisation.

As the WHO announced that the EU area could expect deaths to pass 2.2 million by spring (an increase of 700 million from the current figure), investors are nervous that Germany might follow suit and place its population under lockdown. Angela Merkel said the latest Covid-19 spike was the most dangerous yet and called for tougher measures, as reported by Bloomberg. Germany’s health minister, Jens Spahn told a press conference that the reality is that “by the end of the winter, more or less everyone in Germany will be vaccinated, recovered or dead.”

As rising Covid-19 infection rates threaten to reverse many decisions that countries have made to open borders and reduce travel bans and travel restrictions, the European Travel Commission (ETC) and World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) issued a joint statement to urge EU countries to adopt unified coherent travel restrictions so as to not undermine new found confidence in traveling across the region.

This seemed to be heard Thursday, as the EU unveiled plans demanding mandatory booster jabs 9 months after initial vaccinations in order to travel freely across the region and avoid EU travel restrictions.

There has been unrest across many EU countries against the new raft of Covid-19 restrictions that have been instigated by governments: police opened fire on protesters last weekend in the Netherlands and thousands marched in Austria, Switzerland and Italy, amongst others.

The WHO is now openly suggesting that an important step to curbing the pandemic in Europe would be mandatory vaccinations across the EU.

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