(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
Salvaging the summer
Aiming to salvage the summer tourism season, the Brussels-based European Commission will on Wednesday issue guidelines for border restrictions to be gradually lifted and “unrestricted free movement” to restart.
At least 17 countries have imposed emergency border controls to contain the coronavirus, even within the Schengen area, comprising 26 EU and other European countries where frontiers are normally invisible.
Tourism suffered an 80-90% loss in turnover in the first quarter of 2020, hospitality industry lobby groups said, and the sector is braced for a disastrous summer as the EU faces its deepest-ever recession.
However it remains to be seen whether individual countries comply with EU guidelines. Until now, they have tended to go their own way. Spain, for one, is insisting on quarantines for incoming travellers.
Contradictory rules? Just use your common sense…
As governments and business seek to reopen economies, people are often being told they must use common sense to interpret often vague guidelines.
In England for example, ministers are being asked why it is okay for estate agents to resume house viewings while people cannot have relatives to visit.
“There is no perfect way of doing this, and we’d ask people to use their common sense,” said Transport Minister Grant Shapps.…and police yourselves
Similar questions abound as air travel restarts.
American Airlines, Delta Air and United Airlines have told flight attendants not to force passengers to comply with their new policy requiring face coverings, but just to encourage them to do so, according to employee policies seen by Reuters.
“If the customer chooses not to comply for other reasons, please encourage them to comply, but do not escalate further,” American told flight attendants on Friday.
“Likewise, if a customer is frustrated by another customer’s lack of face covering, please use situational awareness to de-escalate the situation,” it added.
Virtual presence not a substitute
From cardboard cut-outs of real fans to an app allowing supporters to influence the volume of noise piped into stadiums, people are developing ideas for how to put some matchday atmosphere back into stadiums.
But for many, the real problem of “ghost matches” played without fans is the eerie atmosphere with only the shouts of players and coaching staff echoing around deserted arenas.
Cologne coach Markus Gisdol suggested this could even lead to frayed tempers, saying of a March match against Borussia Moenchengladbach: “Everyone on the sidelines was a little more irritable than usual because you could hear more of what the opposing bench were saying and what the officials were saying to each other.”
(Compiled by Karishma Singh; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Giles Elgood)