Traveling around Europe is about to become exceedingly difficult again. Just months after the European Union relaxed travel restrictions, a “second wave” of Covid-19 is washing over the continent.
I was shopping online for some knitwear when I heard that Emmanuel Macron had imposed a fresh lockdown all over France. It began the other day and is supposed to last four weeks. Restaurants, bars, cafes, gyms, cinemas and museums have been shut down. Public gatherings are banned, as are private ones.
And all non-essential travel outside a given region is strictly prohibited. Unfortunately this order wasn’t implemented in time to stop a Tunisian man from travelling from Italy to France by train and stabbing three people to death in a church.
Joining France in imposing a second lockdown is Germany. Citing the “very serious situation” facing the country, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a “lockdown lite,” meaning it won’t be as extreme as the first one. The restrictions are nevertheless broad: no public events, no unnecessary travel, no unnecessary stays in hotels, and no spectators at sporting events.
“We must act, and now, to avoid an acute national health emergency,” Merkel said.
But she’s facing criticism from both sides of the political aisle. Some say the current restrictions don’t go far enough while others describe them as unnecessarily harsh. In any case, it seems that Germans can scrap their travel plans.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is also expected to impose a new stay at home order after internal government documents regarding the new Covid outbreak were leaked to the press. The documents revealed that the second wave is expected to be significantly worse than the first one, with more infections and more deaths.
All of this comes just as major cruise lines in Europe were beginning to resume operations. Now they’re shutting down again. After Merkel announced the new lockdown order, AIDA (Carnival’s German subsidiary) suspended cruises until at least November 30. The company was preparing to
Meanwhile, French river cruise line CroisiEurope stated it would not be hosting any voyages for the remainder of the year, while Costa Cruises said it limit its operations to Italy through next February.
With all of that said, who would willingly go on a cruise right now?