Nadine Scheiner’s efforts to travel from her home in Germany to Spain’s sun and sea have twice been foiled by the coronavirus.

She canceled her annual summer trip to Ibiza back in April, and then last week decided to abandon an attempt to visit the Costa Brava in Catalonia because of the recent uptick in infections. The fallback for her family of four is the Netherlands’ windswept North Sea coast.

“I’m certainly a bit sad, we always love to go to the south and in Holland you can never be certain if the weather is going to be ok,” said the 32-year-old from Wiesbaden. “The sea and the sunshine is just good for the soul.”

Scheiner’s experience illustrates the latest problem Europe’s tourism and travel industries must confront as they struggle to recover from the unprecedented blow inflicted by the coronavirus.

While Spain is at the forefront of renewed concerns about infections, the issue is radiating across Europe’s southern rim. Instead of fueling a revival, some travelers from the wealthier north appear more inclined to stay closer to home. That’s a potential blow to countries like Spain, Italy and Greece, where tourism accounts for a big chunk of their economies.

Tourists Wanted
As the August high season approaches and operators hope for a last-minute jump in bookings, the increase in cases in some virus hotspots, together with tighter hygiene, social distancing and quarantine rules for travelers, are boosting uncertainty. In a further blow, the European Union on Wednesday backtracked further on a plan to let in more foreign travelers.

In a non-binding recommendation to EU national governments, the bloc advised keeping external borders shut to people from most countries including the U.S. for at least two more weeks.

Summer is when airlines and hotels make the bulk of their cash as millions of Europeans take their annual vacation, and the season can mean the difference between survival and bankruptcy over the lean winter months.

The situation is also straining ties between European allies. Officials in London and Madrid clashed this week after the U.K. advised Britons against all non-essential trips to Spain and ordered arrivals from Spanish airports to quarantine for 14 days. U.K. Transport minister Charlotte Vere appeared to backtrack Tuesday when she said the government is considering ways to loosen quarantine rules.

‘More Pain’
Germany on Tuesday warned tourists against trips to Catalonia, Navarra and Aragon, citing concerns over higher virus numbers and local lockdowns.

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