The coronavirus pandemic has hit the travel industry especially hard. Many European countries are closing their borders again as new cases of the virus increase. Will it be possible to save firms and jobs by practicing shorter working hours?
Layoffs are just the beginning
Approximately 2,500 employees of Tallink, the largest shipping company in the Baltic region, which operates ferry services, face dismissal. The industry is demanding help by transferring employees to part-time work until next spring. However, Eesti Paevaleht doubts that the situation will improve by then:
вЂњTourism is practically extinct, as are ferry cruises in the Baltic. And instead of the improvement that was so desired at first, the situation with restrictions threatens to get worse вЂ” and become even worse than it was this summer. The former demand for hotels, ships, planes, and tour operators, which existed before the outbreak of the pandemic, no longer exists. ... The decision [to extend the part-time work and related payments] was not easy. On the one hand, employees of the industry are threatened with unemployment, and on the other, it may happen that the situation will not improve by the spring of 2021 either.вЂњ
The EU needs uniform rules!
Citing an increase in the number of new infections, more and more EU countries are again imposing travel restrictions and quarantines for those who return from travel. Latvia has decided to close the borders with Lithuania and Estonia again. Diena considers it a big mistake that the EU has not yet agreed on uniform quarantine criteria for the countries of the community:
вЂњNow we are talking about what the EU has been demanding for decades вЂ” the solidarity of all members of the community. Unfortunately, back in the summer, a Kantar poll showed that 53 percent of EU citizens are unhappy with the level of solidarity that existed between members of the community during the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, a completely legitimate question arises here: if member countries are not able to agree on a common strategy on this issue, then what can they at all?