Estonian minister: Recovery of travel, free movement requiring EU-wide cooperation

  • 2021-03-01
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - In order for free movement and travel to recover, European Union-wide cooperation is needed in combating the spread of the coronavirus and its effects, according to Estonian Minister of Entrepreneurship and IT Andres Sutt.

Sutt took part in a meeting of EU ministers of tourism via a video link on Monday. The meeting focused on ways how the tourism industry in Europe could gradually be reopened and restarted, spokespeople for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications said.

"Estonia's priority is containing the spread of the virus, which is why vaccination and adherence to restrictions are important as well as restoration of air traffic when the situation of the pandemic improves, and compliance with health requirements," Sutt said.

The minister added that crisis aid and measures targeted at the sector need to be made more efficient and the general understanding of dangers and risks as well as exchange of information between EU institutions needs to be improved. Joint international health guidelines and sanitary measures would help prepare for the summer season and encourage safe travel, he said.

Sutt opined that traveling could be fostered, provided that the virus abates, with innovative digital solutions facilitating access to data as well as the collection, transmission and analysis thereof.

"For instance, Estonia in cooperation with the World Health Organization is developing a solution enabling to globally mutually recognize various vaccination certificates, thus making it possible for different states to trust each other's data. This also provides an opportunity to strengthen our image as a digital state," he said.