„Our message is that we will have a tourist season this summer, even if it is with security measures and restrictions.” Those were the words of European Commissioner for Economic Affairs Paolo Gentiloni yesterday, as the EU revealed a set of guidelines for member states gradually lifting international travel restrictions.
It’s part of an attempt to kick-start the battered European tourism industry after 2 months of lockdown.
With a 60-80% drop in international arrivals expected over the summer, the industry which contributes 10% of Europe’s GDP stands to lose billions.
But countries across Europe have been starting to steadily lift some cross-border travel rules.
Germany and Austria this week announced a plan to reopen their land border completely over the next month, with hopes to reopen all of the country’s Schengen Area borders soon.
While Poland is allowing cross-border workers and residents to enter the country, the border is expected to remain closed to foreigners until at least June 12th.
The Deputy Speaker of the Polish Senate has stood down this week in order to work as a doctor in the fight against Covid-19.
Speaking to a press conference, Stanisław Karczewski announced his resignation as Deputy Speaker, but said he would continue in his role as a senator while working as a doctor.
Mr Karczewski a qualified physician and surgeon by education.
He’ll be replaced as Deputy Speaker by fellow Law & Justice senator Marek Pęk.
Poland’s National Security Bureau, the BBN, has singled out what it calls „Russian neo-imperialism” as the number one threat to Polish national security.
In its 2020 National Security Strategy, the BBN points to Russia’s „intensively developing” military capabilities and large-scale military exercises as most serious threat to Polish security.
The strategy highlights Russia’s clashes with its neighbours in Georgia and Ukraine as examples of „neo-imperialist” policy.
Russian use of so-called „hybrid warfare” methods is also mentioned, including cyber attacks and disinformation campaigns.
The report also lists climate change, turmoil within Europe, and of course Covid-19 as key threats to national security.
In Gdansk, the city’s skyline is looking slightly different this week as the final arch on the new Biskupia Górka viaduct was completed.
The new viaduct is an expansion to the existing one, helping to increase capacity on the main road connecting the city centre to the southern districts.
The viaduct is due to be finished in Autumn this year.
There are calls this week to restart suspended services on the SKM.
According to reports by trójmiasto.pl, the last few days have seen a steady increase in the number of passengers as people return to work.
Currently, trains are running at a reduced capacity as passenger number plummeted during the lockdown. But as restrictions are lifted, there are concerns trains could become crowded, endangering social distancing practices.
According to trójmiasto.pl, a spokesman for SKM said the only way to increase capacity was now to restore regular services, calling on the provincial government to allow a return to full service.
In response, a spokesman for the Pomeranian Marshal’s Office said lifting restrictions would depend on both passenger numbers but also whether current social distancing rules remain in place.
Feeling chilly today with highs of 11°C, that’s 51°F.
Remaining mostly cloudy into this afternoon with a chance of some rain in parts. Clearing up as we go into the evening though, with a chilly night and a bright start tomorrow morning.