How about traveling abroad

Vacation trips abroad put to the test

Passengers traveling to Mallorca are at the check-in at Hanover-Langenhagen Airport / picture alliance, Moritz Frankenberg

Berlin - In view of the heated discussion about holidays on Mallorca despite Corona, the federal government is considering temporarily preventing trips to popular holiday areas abroad. "This is now being checked by the responsible departments," said Deputy Government Spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer yesterday in Berlin. But she did not say what options there are.

There was criticism of the trips abroad because vacation in Germany is not possible during the Easter holidays due to closed hotels and campsites. Bavaria's Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) said yesterday in his government statement that testing is only the "minimum". "And I would prefer that we could come up with a few other measures." It is "simply difficult to understand and accept for people" that you cannot book a holiday home or apartment with us, but conversely you can go on great holidays on Mallorca could.

Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) made a similar statement. "It is not a good thing that such vacation trips are taking place in this situation," said the finance minister. Chancellor Angela Merkel also sees it that way. It could not be that you are not in a position to prevent people from flying to Mallorca, but that a 15-kilometer radius of movement can be enforced in Flensburg, she said on Wednesday morning during her consultations with the Prime Minister. However, it is unclear how you can legally ensure that nobody flies to Mallorca anymore.

The SPD, however, immediately rejected a real travel ban. "There will be no general ban on trips to popular holiday areas abroad with the SPD parliamentary group," said parliamentary manager Carsten Schneider. Generally banning trips abroad goes beyond sensible protective measures, is disproportionate and contributes to further uncertainty among the population.

According to a report by Editorial network Germany There is great reluctance in the Justice Department to ban travel. Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) sees “very high hurdles” and is therefore “very skeptical” with regard to fundamental rights, according to government circles.

The background to the discussion is the temporary booking boom for Mallorca after the Germans' favorite island was removed from the list of corona risk areas on March 14th. This also lifted the Federal Foreign Office's travel warning. The move was made because the number of new infections there had fallen below 50 per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days. This means that holidays in Mallorca are possible again without quarantine and without the obligation to test on return.

This led to an explosion in bookings with the major tour operators and airlines, which were re-launching hundreds of additional flights for the Easter holidays. At the federal-state meeting, however, it was decided that in future a test requirement should be introduced for all air passengers entering Germany. According to a draft from the Federal Ministry of Health, this should take effect from Sunday.

"It should apply regardless of whether the transport takes place from a risk area", it says in the accompanying letter from the Ministry to the Chancellery and the other departments. The resolution should therefore still be passed today by circulation. “People who cannot present a corresponding test certificate to their carrier before departure may not be transported,” says the text.

"Testing before departure reduces the likelihood that infected people will travel and infect others during the flight or cause an additional entry of SARS-CoV-2 infections into Germany," the draft continues. Testing supplements already established precautionary measures such as wearing a mask, keeping your distance and hygiene measures - these must continue to be observed. The regulation should initially apply until May 12th.

So far, a mandatory test before entering Germany is only provided for travelers who have stayed in an area in the ten days before where the number of infections is particularly high or mutations are widespread.

So far, the federal and state governments have advised against tourist travel at home and abroad in their resolutions to combat the corona pandemic. This is only a recommendation. For inland, however, a solution has already been found to effectively prevent travel: hotels and other accommodation providers have simply been banned from billeting holidaymakers. Since the federal government has no influence on hotel openings abroad, it has to find another solution.

One possibility for trips abroad would be to make them unattractive for those willing to go on vacation, for example with quarantine regulations. Another option would be to at least partially ban travel. This happens, for example, in the countries of origin of the other two major Mallorca holiday groups: Spain and Great Britain.

In England, the ban on foreign travel has long been a reality - and not only classic holiday destinations are affected. The English are not even supposed to move out of their own residential area at the moment, and domestic travel will only be allowed again under certain conditions in April. Currently, only those who can show a valid reason are allowed to leave the country.

Even in the whole of Spain you are not allowed to leave your autonomous community - this corresponds roughly to the German federal states. From Catalonia on the Spanish mainland you are not allowed to go to the Balearic Islands, to which Mallorca belongs. In Germany, the prohibition regulation is legally controversial. © dpa / aerzteblatt.de