“Unknown dynamics” – Hundreds of additional flights to Mallorca on offer
Holidays in Mallorca are possible again without quarantine. Flight bookings are skyrocketing. By lifting the travel warning, the federal government initiated a development that it actually did not intend.
NAfter the travel warning for Mallorca has been lifted, flight bookings for the Germans’ favorite island have increased significantly. The largest provider, Eurowings, spoke on Sunday of bookings “in a previously unheard-of dynamic” and launched 300 additional flights for the Easter period at short notice. At the same time, the demands are getting louder to enable vacation in Germany again. “For me it would be difficult to imagine that vacationing on Mallorca is possible, but hotels in the Black Forest are still closed,” said the tourism commissioner of the federal government, Thomas Bareiß (CDU), of the German press agency. “That would be a very bitter message.”
Since Sunday, holidays in Mallorca two weeks before the start of the Easter holidays have been possible again in most federal states without quarantine and mandatory testing on return. Since Germany is still a risk area from a Spanish perspective, tourists must show a negative corona test that is no older than 72 hours when entering Spain. You also have to fill out a digital entry form. These are the only remaining restrictions, however.
The other Balearic Islands – including Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera – as well as parts of mainland Spain, including the coastal areas of Murcia and Valencia with many holiday destinations, have ceased to be corona risk areas since Sunday. This also applies to the entire north of Portugal, the Nordjylland region in Denmark and the Bahamas in the Caribbean. The travel warning for the popular Croatian holiday peninsula of Istria was lifted last weekend. It is crucial for such a step that the number of infections falls below the mark of 50 per 100,000 inhabitants within a week. In the Balearic Islands, this so-called incidence value was 21.3 on Friday.
The Lufthansa subsidiary Eurowings wants to start the additional flights to Mallorca on Thursday. On Sunday, all five flights to the island were fully booked, according to a spokeswoman, extra larger machines were used for two connections. “The sudden incoming bookings and the corresponding additional flights are spread across the whole country,” said a statement from the company. The largest tour operator TUI has announced that it will reopen the first hotels on Mallorca next weekend and offer flights from Hanover, Frankfurt and Düsseldorf.
Furthermore, warning of “unnecessary, tourist trips”
The Federal Government has thus initiated a development that it actually does not intend. In their most recent decision of March 3, the federal and state governments appeal “urgently” to all citizens to refrain “from traveling in Germany and abroad that are not absolutely necessary”. This attitude has not changed with the deletion of Mallorca and other areas from the corona risk list. The Foreign Office has not issued any warnings about traveling there since Sunday, but its travel advice on the Internet continues to advise against “unnecessary, tourist trips” – with very limited success, as can be seen from flight bookings.
The interests within the federal government do not seem to be uniform either. The Tourism Commissioner Bareiß, Parliamentary State Secretary in the Ministry of Economic Affairs, was pleased on Sunday about “a gradual opening in Europe”. The CDU politician also showed sympathy for the tour operator’s demand to completely lift the quarantine obligation for returnees from abroad and instead to rely on intensified tests. “This is a step in the right direction,” he said. Returnees from Corona risk areas currently have to be in quarantine for ten days, but you can get rid of this with a negative test after five days. This currently still applies to most regions in Europe, including all holiday destinations in Italy, France, Austria and Greece.
It is particularly important to Bareiß that the local tourism industry does not get under the wheels. That’s what it looks like at the moment. The lockdown for accommodation providers will apply until March 28th. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the prime ministers do not want to decide how things will continue after that until March 22nd. The chances of an early easing decrease day by day with the increasing number of infections in Germany. The seven-day incidence was 79 on Sunday – almost four times as high as in the Balearic Islands. For the week after Easter, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) forecast higher numbers at the weekend than around Christmas. The incidence could then be 350.
If the hotels remain closed, it would be dramatic for the local tourism industry. According to the German Hotel and Restaurant Association (Dehoga), turnover in the hospitality industry has slumped by 63 percent in the past twelve months compared to the same period of the previous year. 72.2 percent of entrepreneurs fear for their existence.