Europe’s summer holiday is in peril – Morgan Stanley says

FILE PHOTO: People visit Porto Katsiki beach, following the easing of measures against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), on the island of Lefkada
FILE PHOTO: People visit Porto Katsiki beach, following the easing of measures against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), on the island of Lefkada, Greece, July 25, 2020. REUTERS/Dimitris Rapakousis

March 18, 2021

LONDON (Reuters) – Europe could be looking at another lost summer tourist season as COVID-19 cases are rising and the vaccine rollout has been so slow, threatening a major hit to the economies of Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece, Morgan Stanley said.

“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,” Morgan Stanley said.

“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.”

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Kate Holton)