Foreign trips in autumn 2020 were probably less decisive for the second corona wave than expected. At least that suggests a new RKI study.
Munich – If the Robert Koch Institute publishes new figures and studies on the corona virus, many people are already cringing preventively. How long will the pandemic continue, are we facing further restrictions and what does all this mean for the economy? Agency news all too often brought bad news in the past twelve months.
When it comes to the latest study, at least passionate holidaymakers and the entire tourism industry can breathe a sigh of relief. In autumn 2020, trips to vacation countries are supposed to be not a pandemic driver have been. The Epidemiological Bulletin of February 25, 2021 says: “In the meantime, the summer vacation wave has been dwarfed by the second major wave of infections in Germany. In this, travel-related infections only play a very subordinate role, because the autochthonous transmission predominates. ”Autochthonous transmission is understood as the transmission between two compatriots.
Vacation despite the coronavirus: Hygiene measures in hotels are apparently bearing fruit
According to this, tourists have little contact with locals, which leads to a low risk of infection in relation to the incidences of the travel destination. “Overnight stays in hotels, which were often subject to strict hygiene rules last summer, probably also contributed to this.” Instead of tourists, it was probably a different group of travelers who got infected abroad.
At the top of the countries in which most of the returnee were infected are Kosovo with 4,369 reported cases in reporting week 30-38, Croatia (3,903), Turkey (3,131), Bosnia and Herzegovina (1,193) and Romania ( 1,096). Only then do classic travel destinations such as Spain and France follow, followed by Italy and North Macedonia. “Among people who reported exposure in Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia or Romania, and especially often no symptoms, there were possibly many seasonal or contract workers.” This fits in with the top countries Turkey and Kosovo, from which many immigrants come.
Coronavirus in Germany: Intensive contact with families at home could lead to infections
In contrast to conventional tourists, these returnees had more intensive contact, for example, with their families and thus with residents of the respective countries, while tourists increasingly stayed in hotels in compliance with hygiene measures. Some cases were brought to Germany from countries such as Spain and France, but probably less than one would have to assume based on the incidences in these countries.
The travel industry can now interpret the study for itself and insist that the losses of the last few months can be curbed somewhat in the future. Since the low numbers from Spain and France are partly due to the fact that the countries were not classified as risk countries in the period mentioned and were therefore less tested, the industry now wants to protect itself primarily with more tests. FTI managing director Ralph Schiller admitted to the South German for example, that holidaymakers will have to be tested before and after departure in the future. This is also quite possible.
“Politicians have to talk to us about it and trust us to do something. We will do everything we can to ensure that the number of infections caused by vacation trips does not go up, ”he assures those responsible and the vacationers. Most recently, RKI boss Lothar Wieler admitted an “embarrassing” breakdown. (ta)