The European Union on Wednesday unveiled guidance to revive tourism as several countries reopen. Europe accounts for 50% of the global tourism market and recent reports have shown that the coronavirus would mean losses of $300 to $435 billion for the tourism and travel industry.

“Tourism is vital to the Single Market and its four freedoms and a key contributor to the EU’s economic, social and cultural way of life. It has also been deeply impacted by the measures needed to contain COVID-19,” Margaritis Schinas, the European Commissioner for Promoting the European Way of Life said. “As our Member States gradually lift restrictive measures, we are putting in place the foundations for rebooting the tourism eco-system and Single Market in a safe, proportionate way that will prevent the resurgence of the virus within the EU, whilst safeguarding our way of life.”

According to the EU, travel restrictions would first be lifted between countries with similar rates of infection. “Tourist corridors” could be set up between countries to allow safe international travel. The EU has listed criteria to safely restart the hospitality sector, while helping member states with financial aid for transportation and travel companies struggling to reimburse customers for canceled trips.

The European Commission would also work with member states to provide citizens with vouchers so they can support hotels and restaurants while on vacation.

"This is not going to be a normal summer, not for any of us," Margrethe Vestager, the vice-president of the European Commission said. "But when we all work together and we all do our part in the ways the Commission is setting out today, then we don't have to face a summer stuck at home or a completely lost summer for the European tourism industry."

The EU has urged governments to use contact tracing apps on a voluntary basis to control the spread of the virus. The European Commission said in a statement that these “apps must be voluntary, transparent, temporary, cybersecure, using pseudonymised data, should rely on Bluetooth technology and be interoperable across borders as well as across operating systems,”

Although borders are currently closed across the EU, some countries have made plans to remove restrictions. German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said Germany’s border with countries such as Austria and Switzerland could likely be reopened by June 15.

"The goal is that from mid-June we want to have free travel in Europe," Seehofer said.

Although travel between European countries may start opening up, visitors outside the EU may have to wait longer to visit their favorite destinations. The EU has extended its ban towards outside visitors to June 15.