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‘Not an invitation to go there’: Germany urges against Mallorca holiday following lifting of travel warning

Germany's foreign minister on Wednesday urged his countrymen to think twice about rushing to Mallorca over the Easter holidays after the sun-soaked Spanish island was taken off the coronavirus risk list.

'Not an invitation to go there': Germany urges against Mallorca holiday following lifting of travel warning
A German woman with a suitcase strolls through Mallorca on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

The lifting of Berlin’s travel warning for the Balearic island has sparked a flurry of bookings from shutdown-weary Germans in recent days, with airlines laying on hundreds of extra flights to meet the surge in demand.

But Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the delisting of Mallorca was “not an invitation to go there”, especially considering Germany’s recent uptick in coronavirus cases, which has sparked warnings of a third wave.

“We have an increased incidence rate in Germany, and everyone is still called upon to do their part,” Maas told reporters in Berlin, with Easter school holidays due to begin in most German states from next weekend.

“Travel is one those things that leads to more contacts, and that’s why this is a decision that everyone has to make for themselves. But I hope citizens handle this responsibly.”

READ ALSO: ‘Germans are coming back’: Spaniards sceptical over return of tourists

Mallorca is one of the most popular holiday destinations among Germans, and is sometimes jokingly referred to as Germany’s 17th state.

Tourism giant TUI has said that it has received more bookings for Mallorca in recent days than in the same period in 2019, and would be doubling the number of its flights plying the route to the island to 300.

Lufthansa subsidiary Eurowings on Wednesday said the extra 300 Easter holiday flights it had offered at the weekend were already sold out, and that it had added another 50 flights.

Other airlines including Lufthansa, Condor and Ryanair have also said they are increasing the number of flights.

READ ALSO: Spain braces for German Easter influx as flights boom

The updated travel advice means Germans no longer have to quarantine when they return home from Mallorca, or undergo mandatory testing.

Calls are growing however for returning travellers to be tested anyway, a suggestion Maas said “would be in everyone’s interest”.

Tourists arriving on the Spanish island must show a negative coronavirus test that is less than 72 hours old.

READ ALSO: Germany set to lift travel warning for parts of Spain and Portugal

Member comments

  1. Sadly, as the most visited destination for German tourism in the World, it is by default an invitation to go there. And will be treated as such up until the same nonsense as last year causes the Island to close everything down again and Germans to retest upon entry. Feeding the flames of Covid problems in other countries is how I would term it.

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COVID-19 RULES

Germany should prepare for Covid wave in autumn, ministers warn

German health ministers say that tougher Covid restrictions should come back into force if a serious wave emerges in autumn.

Germany should prepare for Covid wave in autumn, ministers warn

Following a video meeting on Monday, the health ministers of Germany’s 16 states said tougher restrictions should be imposed again if they are needed. 

“The corona pandemic is not over yet – we must not be deceived by the current declining incidences,” said Saxony-Anhalt’s health minister Petra Grimm-Benne, of the Social Democrats, who currently chairs the Conference of Health Ministers (GMK).

According to the GMK, new virus variants are expected to appear in autumn and winter. Over the weekend, federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) also warned that the more dangerous Delta variant could return to Germany. “That is why the federal Ministry of Health should draw up a master plan to combat the corona pandemic as soon as possible and coordinate it with the states,” Grimm-Benne said.

Preparations should also include an amendment of the Infection Protection Act, ministers urged. They want to see the states given powers to react to the infection situation in autumn and winter. They called on the government to initiate the legislative process in a timely manner, and get the states actively involved.

The current Infection Protection Act expires on September 23rd this year. Germany has loosened much of its Covid restrictions in the last months, however, face masks are still compulsory on public transport as well as on planes. 

READ ALSO: Do people in Germany still have to wear Covid masks on planes?

The health ministers said that from autumn onwards, it should be possible for states to make masks compulsory indoors if the regional infection situation calls for it. Previously, wearing a Covid mask was obligatory in Germany when shopping and in restaurants and bars when not sitting at a table. 

Furthermore, the so-called 3G rule for accessing some venues and facilities – where people have to present proof of vaccination, recovery, or a negative test – should be implemented again if needed, as well as other infection protection rules, the ministers said. 

Bavaria’s health minister Klaus Holetschek, of the CSU, welcomed the ministers’ unanimous call for a revision of the Infection Protection Act. “The states must be able to take all necessary infection protection measures quickly, effectively, and with legal certainty,” he said.

North Rhine-Westphalia’s health minister Karl-Josef Laumann (CDU) warned that no one should “lull themselves into a false sense of security”.

“We must now prepare for the colder season and use the time to be able to answer important questions about the immunity of the population or the mechanisms of infection chains,” he said.

On Tuesday, Germany reported 86,253 Covid infections within the latest 24 hour period, as well as 215 Covid-related deaths. The 7-day incidence stood at 437.6 infections per 100,000 people. However, experts believe there could be twice as many infections because lots of cases go unreported. 

READ ALSO: Five things to know about the Covid pandemic in Germany right now

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