A bumper European summer holiday season is in peril as a slow vaccine roll-out and rising Covid cases bite, says an investment bank.
Europe could suffer another “lost” summer season, according to Morgan Stanley.
A slow rebound in tourism would threaten the economies of Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece, which are relying on a summer holiday season, the bank said, reports Reuters.
“Europe’s high cases and slow vaccine drive could lead to a late reopening, putting a second summer at risk, which would exacerbate the north-south divide and could trigger further policy easing.
“Last year, without a vaccine, Europe was able to save some of its summer season with the help of restrictions and seasonal weather dynamics that lowered transmission rates from spring.
“But we are somewhat sceptical that this can happen again this year, given the emergence of new strains, which appear to be more transmissible and dangerous, and have driven an acceleration in cases recently in the Euro area, e.g. in France and Italy.”
It comes as a handful of European nations have announced firm opening dates for British tourists.
Iceland, Greece and Cyprus have all signalled they will welcome British travellers with proof of vaccination, while France last week relaxed its entry restrictions for Britons.
Currently, all leisure travel is banned in the UK.