The Impact of the Coronavirus on the Air Transport and Tourism Sectors under the European and Greek Legal Frameworks
Coronavirus has evolved from a regional issue in China into a global “Public Health Emergency of International Concern” with a significant number of cases being recorded at an international and European level. On 11March 2020, the World Health Organisation has declared the novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) a global pandemic. The COVID-19 has spread to most parts of the world, significantly disrupting public life, including the travel, tourism and aviation industry, which is one of several industry sectors currently under enormous pressure. The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), taking into account the unparalleled introduction of travel restrictions across the world, estimates that international tourist arrivals will be down by 20% to 30%, in 2020, when compared with 2019 figures. Putting this into context, the UNWTO underlines that in 2009, on the back of the global economic crisis, international tourist arrivals declined by 4%, while the SARS outbreak of 2003 led to a decline of just 0.4% that year. However, the UNWTO points out that these numbers are based on the latest developments as the global community faces up to an unprecedented social and economic challenge and should be interpreted with caution, given the extreme uncertain nature of the current crisis.