An EU chief has suggested that people may be able to travel around the continent in the near future, but on the condition that countries find ways to enforce social distancing – even if that means sunbathing in perspex boxes.
President of the EU Commission Ursula Von Der Leyen has offered hope to those wanting to get a trip away this year, by saying countries must consider “smart solutions”, once the coronavirus pandemic begins to slow down.
She said: “Maybe a little different, with other hygiene measures, with a little more social distance, but it is impressive to see that we have found solutions.
“It is difficult to predict what the next months will be like but what I see is that we are beginning to learn to live with the virus.”
Countries like Austria are considering opening their borders for the summer – but only for those nations which have COVID-19 under control, while Greece has been encouraging the EU to work out a plan over the next few weeks.
It comes as a firm in Italy has come up with a novel idea to encourage people to hit the beaches once more, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Italian manufacturing firm Nuova Neon Group 2 revealed its design for plexiglass boxes that can be used on the beach for those worried about COVID-19 – but still wanting to catch some rays.
The 4.5 metre square clear boxes, which stand at 2 metres high have been touted as the answer to safe sunbathing at seaside resorts.
Inside, they have enough space for two sunbeds and a beach umbrella, as well as enough space for any youngsters to play – all in the safety of their own booth.
Explaining the design, company owner Claudio Ferrari told la Repubblica: “We tried to imagine the return to the beach.
“The idea was born with the dual purpose of protecting, but also of restarting the activities.
“In short, guaranteeing safety but starting to circulate people again. We are already working to create screens for banks, pharmacies and so we have thought of extending the work to commercial activities”.
Italy has been one of the countries hardest hit by COVID-19, with the number of people dying with the disease standing at more than 24,000.
On Tuesday, Italian leader Giuseppe Conte announced that from 4 May, some of the country’s restrictions can start being lifted, in an effort to restart the nation’s economy.
However, the country’s health minister said that people should get used to the idea that they will probably be spending their summer in hot cities, rather than laying on the beaches.