Germany warns against tourist travel to parts of Spain

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Germany warns against tourist travel to parts of Spain
People at a beach in Barcelona on July 18th. Photo: DPA

German authorities have warned against non-essential travel to parts of Spain, including popular tourist destination Barcelona, as coronavirus infection numbers rise again over the holiday season.


The warning comes as Germany grapples with a surge of infections, fuelling fears of a second coronavirus wave.

Holidaymakers returning from abroad have stoked particular concern.

Germany's Foreign Ministry updated its travel advisory on Tuesday, recommending against travel to three regions in northern Spain dealing with renewed outbreaks.

"Non essential, tourist travel to the autonomous communities of Aragon, Catalonia and Navarra are currently discouraged due to renewed high levels of infections and local lockdowns," said the German Foreign Ministry in an updated travel advisory note.

The official recommendation therefore affects the popular tourist destinations of Barcelona, the Costa Brava and Spanish Pyrenees region.

Spain is one of Germany's most popular holiday destinations. Despite the regional warnings, there is still no travel warning for the entire country. For example, the Balearic islands, which include Mallorca, and southern parts of Spain are not affected.

The only EU country or state with a travel warning in place from Germany is currently Luxembourg.


Coronavirus numbers in Spain rising

Spain's cumulative coronavirus rate has been growing in recent weeks, but with large regional disparities.

A spike in the infection rate in the northern regions of Catalonia (63.1 per 100,000 inhabitants), Aragón (160.1 per 100,000) and Navarre (79.2 per 100,000) have pushed Spain's average up to 39.4 per 100,000 inhabitants, far higher than Germany's infection rate of 7.7 (data from European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control).  

The travel advice by the German government follows the UK's sudden decision on Saturday to impose a 14-day quarantine on British holidaymakers returning from Spain

The Spanish government is fighting to save the country's tourism industry, arguing that other popular holiday hotspots such as the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands, Andalusia and the Valencia region have a far lower rate of infections.

On Monday, Germany announced it would introduce compulsory coronavirus testing for residents returning from risk areas.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about Germany's plans for mandatory Covid-19 tests for returning travellers

Germany has so far recorded a total of 206,242 coronavirus cases and 9,122 deaths.


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