The summer holiday season has been turned upside down by the coronavirus pandemic, with countries across Europe shutting their borders to foreign travelers.
In the midst of the disruption, which sees some people opting to stay at home or forgo a holiday altogether for health or financial reason, the European Union on Monday published statistics for 2019.
In Romania, some 54% of people were unable to afford a one-week vacation, the highest figure for any EU member.
Some 49% of Greeks are in the same situation, followed by Croatia, where 48% don’t have the available funds, and Italy where 44% find themselves in the same situation.
Overall, 29% of residents of EU member states aged 16 or over couldn’t afford an annual one-week get-away, Eurostat showed.
Still, the situation is better than a decade ago when 39% of Europeans didn’t have the money for a week’s holiday away from their home.
The report notes that “ due to lockdowns and border closure implemented across the world in 2020 to slow down the rapid spread of the coronavirus,” this downward trend is likely to halt in 2020.
At the other end of the scale are Sweden where just one in ten people can’t afford a one-week annual holiday, followed by Denmark and Luxembourg, where it’s 11%), Finland, 12%, and Germany and Austria both 13%.