A framework for the restart of travel is being demanded by a pan-European trade body.

The Brussels-based European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Associations (ECTAA) called on European and national decision-makers to plan the way for a safe return of travel this summer.

This should be built around a common approach of risk-based travel restrictions, based on testing and health certificates.

ECTAA president Pawel Niewiadomski said: “All we need to do is put the dots together and determine a common European roadmap for return to travel. Travellers and industry need a perspective when and under which conditions travel can resume.”

The group, which represents 70,000 agents and operators across Europe, cited the rollout of vaccination programmes, Covid testing and “rigorous” health and safety protocols implemented by tourism businesses to welcome travellers safely.

ECTAA pointed to the Robert Koch Institute, the German agency responsible for disease control and prevention, working out from which countries most foreign infections originated last summer.

It found that organised holiday trips only made a small contribution to the incidence of infections in Germany.

Niewiadomski said: “This is proof that organised travelling is safe. But we need the right framework conditions to start-up travel based on testing and the use of health certificates to facilitate travel.”