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BERLIN / FRANKFURT (dpa-AFX) – Off to the south: From Monday, holidaymakers from Germany can set off again for popular destinations in Europe. The Foreign Office’s travel warning as a result of the corona pandemic is expected to be lifted for 27 European countries, and at the same time most countries are again allowing tourists to enter.
Spain, the number one holiday destination for German citizens abroad, soon follows after the government in Madrid moved the opening of the borders to travelers from the Schengen area on Sunday due to falling corona numbers on June 21. So far, this was only planned for July 1. In a week, the quarantine obligation should then also cease to apply. And up to 10,900 vacationers from Germany should be allowed to fly to Mallorca and the other Balearic Islands for a test from Monday.
After almost three months, Poland reopened its borders to all neighboring EU countries on the night of Saturday. This was celebrated at border towns. Almost all other EU countries will follow this Monday.
The border controls on entry into Germany end at midnight on Monday night like that Federal Ministry of the Interior announced. Only the controls against irregular migration on the Austrian border that were introduced long ago remain.
The Federal Police had issued around 196,000 rejections in the corona-related controls at the borders by June 11. Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer called this number “Bild am Sonntag”.
Airports, airlines and tour operators have prepared themselves for the restart of tourism abroad with hygiene and security concepts. Lufthansa is expanding its range. Deutsche Bahn plans to travel to all neighboring countries again by the end of June. Most major airline travel begins during the week or early July.
Chancellery Minister Helge Braun warned of the risk of infection from the upcoming travel season. “If vacation returnees from a hotspot were spread all over Germany and we could not recognize the infection chains: Then we very quickly come back into a situation in which we would have to take nationwide measures,” said the CDU politician of the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung” . However, it is the “top priority” of the government that something like this does not happen again.
The federal cabinet had decided to lift the worldwide travel warning for 31 European countries, but for the four countries Spain, Sweden, Norway and Finland this is not expected to happen on Monday. For the 27 other countries, there is detailed information in which information is provided about the country-specific risks. This can also mean that tourist trips are not recommended. For example, in the UK this should be the case as long as there is still a 14-day quarantine requirement for all travelers.
For more than 160 countries, the travel warning will initially be extended until August 31. Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas had made it clear, however, that there could still be exceptions – for example for popular holiday destinations such as Turkey, which has already resumed air traffic to Germany. The country on the Bosphorus is the third most popular holiday destination for Germans abroad after Spain and Italy. The Turkish government is pressing for travel warnings to be lifted “as soon as possible”.
Lufthansa is expanding its offering from Monday, with 34 additional German and European destinations from Munich and around 20 from Frankfurt alone. As in the first half of June, the focus would be on summer tourist destinations. 80 machines were reactivated.
Overall, the choice of flights for travelers remains limited. Compared to June 2019, the airlines are offering 14 to 15 percent of the usual seating capacity during the month, according to industry reports. Demand will only gradually increase again, said the managing director of the Federal Association of the German Aviation Industry, Matthias von Randow, the dpa.
Tourists who travel by car, bus or train should start on tour operator trips on Monday. The first vacation flight to the south – apart from the Balearic Islands Test – starts with the industry leader TUI on Wednesday (June 17th) to Faro.
Tui currently sees a catch-up effect. “The first package tours to Mallorca from Monday were sold out within 36 hours. In addition to the Spanish islands, Greece, Croatia and Portugal are in demand. Cyprus is also at the forefront for the first time,” said the travel group on Sunday.
FTI will be there on Monday with flights to Athens and Tessaloniki. Other destinations will follow in late June / early July. DER Touristik’s first flights to Portugal will start on Saturday (June 20). Alltours offers from July 1st – in North Rhine-Westphalia from the start of the holiday – package tours to various EU countries.
Alltours boss Willi Verhuven assumes “that in summer we will reach 50 percent of the previous year’s level. The Canaries, Greece, Mallorca and Turkey are particularly in demand”, he recently told the “Rheinische Post”.
DER Touristik also reported clearly attractive bookings for summer abroad. There is higher demand for Greece, Turkey, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands as well as Tunisia and the Indian Ocean.
On March 17, Maas issued a travel warning for tourists to almost 200 countries around the world due to the corona pandemic – and thus enabled travel to be canceled free of charge.
According to the Federal Foreign Office, there will be no return campaign for 240,000 tourists, such as after the outbreak of the corona pandemic. The travelers concerned will soon receive their invoices. “The participants will be informed individually about the share of costs to be borne in the next few days and weeks,” it said on Saturday from the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin. The ARD capital studio had previously reported on the topic./mar/DP/mis