‘Not an invitation to go there’: Germany urges against Mallorca holiday following lifting of travel warning

Germany's foreign minister on Wednesday urged his countrymen to think twice about rushing to Mallorca over the Easter holidays after the sun-soaked Spanish island was taken off the coronavirus risk list.

'Not an invitation to go there': Germany urges against Mallorca holiday following lifting of travel warning
A German woman with a suitcase strolls through Mallorca on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

The lifting of Berlin’s travel warning for the Balearic island has sparked a flurry of bookings from shutdown-weary Germans in recent days, with airlines laying on hundreds of extra flights to meet the surge in demand.

But Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the delisting of Mallorca was “not an invitation to go there”, especially considering Germany’s recent uptick in coronavirus cases, which has sparked warnings of a third wave.

“We have an increased incidence rate in Germany, and everyone is still called upon to do their part,” Maas told reporters in Berlin, with Easter school holidays due to begin in most German states from next weekend.

“Travel is one those things that leads to more contacts, and that’s why this is a decision that everyone has to make for themselves. But I hope citizens handle this responsibly.”

READ ALSO: ‘Germans are coming back’: Spaniards sceptical over return of tourists

Mallorca is one of the most popular holiday destinations among Germans, and is sometimes jokingly referred to as Germany’s 17th state.

Tourism giant TUI has said that it has received more bookings for Mallorca in recent days than in the same period in 2019, and would be doubling the number of its flights plying the route to the island to 300.

Lufthansa subsidiary Eurowings on Wednesday said the extra 300 Easter holiday flights it had offered at the weekend were already sold out, and that it had added another 50 flights.

Other airlines including Lufthansa, Condor and Ryanair have also said they are increasing the number of flights.

READ ALSO: Spain braces for German Easter influx as flights boom

The updated travel advice means Germans no longer have to quarantine when they return home from Mallorca, or undergo mandatory testing.

Calls are growing however for returning travellers to be tested anyway, a suggestion Maas said “would be in everyone’s interest”.

Tourists arriving on the Spanish island must show a negative coronavirus test that is less than 72 hours old.

READ ALSO: Germany set to lift travel warning for parts of Spain and Portugal

Member comments

  1. Sadly, as the most visited destination for German tourism in the World, it is by default an invitation to go there. And will be treated as such up until the same nonsense as last year causes the Island to close everything down again and Germans to retest upon entry. Feeding the flames of Covid problems in other countries is how I would term it.

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Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”