Start of the vacation: Small escapes with clear rules – panorama society

Summer vacation under the conditions dictated by the virus: in May there was still a great deal of uncertainty as to whether there could even be vacation trips this year. For this reason, Germans are only planning a summer vacation in the distance this year. Of the 87 percent of Germans who have already decided whether and where they want to travel, only two percent want to leave Europe. In a survey by the institute Infratest dimap for the ARD “Germany trend”, one in two (51 percent) stated that they would spend their vacation at home this year, a third (35 percent) would travel within Germany, 17 percent would like to travel to Europe. Only one in four Germans is afraid that they themselves or a family member could be infected with the corona virus – at the end of March that was 55 percent of those surveyed.

The journey should not go too far and many people want to remain mobile independently in order to be able to react to a changed infection if necessary. The trains and highways fill up noticeably at the start of the holiday. In the direction of the coasts, there were some traffic obstructions due to construction sites, especially in the Lübeck area, but in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania the travel traffic rolled without major difficulties. “No abnormalities,” reported a police spokeswoman in Rostock. In Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt, North Rhine-Westphalia and Baden-Württemberg, too, traffic was largely trouble-free at the start of the holiday. In Bavaria, the police headquarters said that it had even been extremely quiet and there was no rush south.

It’s getting tight on the Baltic Sea

In the holiday resorts of Scharbeutz and Haffkrug, the limits set for parking and for the beach due to the corona crisis were reached on Saturday: “Arriving guests will only be routed through our locations,” wrote Scharbeutz Mayor Bettina Schäfer in a Facebook post. With the onset of rain in the afternoon, the closures were quickly removed.

In Dangast, Lower Saxony’s North Sea resort, capacity utilization was “not 100 percent, but the tourist numbers are good,” said spa director Johann Taddigs. Compliance with the anti-corona rules also works. The beach chairs stand three meters apart. St. Peter-Ording also reported that 98 percent of the quarters were fully booked.

At a distance: Holidays on the beach of the municipality of Scharbeutz in the Ostholstein district.Photo: Gregor Fischer / dpa

Many places have often developed their own rules for vacation – distance from other people, no major events, lots of fresh air and general hygiene rules are the basic requirements. To this end, apps for pre-booking beach sections have been developed in some places, such as in Scharbeutz, islands from Sylt to Usedom have issued departure obligations for sick vacationers or people from risky areas.

Denmark advertises discounts

In the meantime, Germany’s neighboring countries are again campaigning for holidaymakers: Denmark and Austria are campaigning for safe vacations as is Croatia. In Denmark, ferry crossings to the small islands of Fanø, Læsø, Ærø and Samsø in July are even free of charge for pedestrians and cyclists, the prices for vehicles are significantly reduced in August and September. Passengers may remain in the car on the ferry between Rømø and Sylt due to the risk of infection. During the Danish summer vacation until August 9th there are many tickets for museums, theaters, zoos and concerts at half price.

Croatia is waiting for guests

Many beaches, holiday apartments and hotels in the seaside resorts on the Croatian Adriatic are only sparsely filled. According to Croatian Minister of Tourism Cari Capelli, there are currently just 300,000 tourists on the coast. Some beach cafes and restaurants are still closed. Some are waiting for the development of the epidemic and the number of visitors, others have already ticked off the season as done. To date, there are only 2604 confirmed infections with the corona virus and 107 deaths in Croatia, only 368 people are acutely ill – but the number of infections has increased again noticeably for a week. Things are even worse in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Serbia.

Questionnaires for self-disclosure on the obligation to record corona at the entrance to a bistro on the beach section «Buhne 16» near Kampen …Photo: David Charisins / dpa

Spain and Portugal fear the virus will return

There is growing concern in Spain that foreign holidaymakers could cause a new virus outbreak. King Felipe personally welcomed the first German tourists to Mallorca. But chief epidemiologist Fernando Simón warned: “We will have to be very careful with the travelers who are coming in the coming weeks.” The Canary Islands require vacationers from “risk areas” negative corona tests that they have to show.

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Health Minister Blas Trujillo cited the German district of Gütersloh or the Spanish neighboring country Portugal as an example, which currently has the highest infection rate in the EU after Sweden. From July 1, citizens of 19 suburbs around Lisbon should only take to the streets for shopping, working and visiting doctors.

For trips abroad, detailed forms often have to be filled in. Corona warning apps are available in many countries – for Spain, however, so far only on the island of Gomera. And everywhere is still the same: keep a distance of 1.5 meters, use a mouth-nose mask, wash your hands, take care of drafts: “You know that.” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, like all European heads of government, warns: “The virus can come back.” Virus outbreaks among tourists, for example on Mallorca, Spain’s most visited holiday island, could result in “that we have to close the island”, says regional health minister Patricia Gómez. In the middle of summer.


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