eupinions echo 21 Aug, 2020

Many Europeans Would Rather Cancel a Vacation Than Having to Abide by Additional Corona Regulations

The prospects of mandatory tests, mask-wearing or even quarantines affect peoples' plans to travel different across the member states.

eupinions echo Many Europeans Would Rather Cancel a Vacation Than Having to Abide by Additional Corona Regulations

Every week, surveys from all across the EU tell us what Europeans are thinking, feeling and talking about. In our segment, eupinions echo, we collect these voices and play them back to you. Each week, we highlight one survey of particular interest in a short blogpost and share daily new survey results via our website and our twitter channel.


Even though current circumstances have significantly reduced European holiday travel and tourism, there are still plenty of Europeans willing to use these last weeks of summer for a quick trip. At the same time, however, and perhaps unsurprisingly, COVID-19 infection numbers across most EU states are on the rise again and many people fear a second wave of high case numbers in their countries.

While the official regulations of the EU and its member states still permit normal travel within the Schengen zone, several countries were led to adopting and reinstituting stricter regulations, such as mandatory corona tests or even quarantines for some incoming travellers. A recent survey by YouGov has now shed light on how such various regulations affect Europeans' travel plans.

Published in the first week of August, the survey asked respondents from the UK, Germany, France, Denmark and Sweden, how different regulations would change their plans to travel. The prospect of having to go into quarantine for two weeks upon arrival, had the most negative effect on peoples' travel plans with large majorities (ranging from 61% in France to 82% in Denmark) stating that they would rather cancel a planned vacation than abide by such regulations. These numbers were even higher when results excluded respondents who never went on holidays abroad anyways, with 93% of holiday-goers from the UK saying they'd rather cancel their plans.

Other regulations had similarly significant effects on travel plans. 60% of Swedes would rather cancel their vacation then having to pay for a mandatory corona test upon arrival at their destination, 72% of Germans would cancel if they had to wear a mask in public at their destination, indoors, as well as outdoors, and for 61% of Danes even the prospect of having to wear a mask in enclosed public spaces such as shops and hotels, would be reason enough to stay at home.

Looking at the results, one sees that the French are by far the least likely to be put off by possible regulations, while Danish and Swedish travellers are the ones most likely to cancel their travel plans in light of possible regulations at their holiday destination. This finding somewhat correlates with the strictness of these countries' own regulations at home, as well as with the case number severity that the countries have been hit during the first COVID-19 peak. France has been hit comparatively hard by the virus so that French people are used to stricter regulations, more wary of a possible second wave and also more supportive of additional regulations.


One thing is for sure, however; should case numbers continue to rise, European governments won’t hesitate to reintroduce stricter measures and declare certain areas as risk areas. Germany has recently done so for most of Spain and parts of Croatia. The prospect of having to endure mandatory testing and possibly quarantine upon their arrival home, will likely further reduce peoples’ willingness to travel.


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About the surveys: The Survey was conducted by YouGov with interviews of between 1001 adults in France and 1658 adults in the UK, between the 13th and 23rd of July 2020.