After a year of pandemic and the associated restrictions in everyday life, many people are longing to finally go on vacation again. Meanwhile, the Easter holidays are just around the corner and some are toying with a break. However, the pandemic is still not over – which makes traveling extremely difficult. NewsABC.net explains what is possible and what you should consider in the following points.
1. Where can I travel?
There is currently a ban on lodging in the whole of Germany. Nobody is allowed to spend the night in hotels or holiday apartments in Germany for tourist purposes. However, something could change at the Prime Minister’s Conference on March 22nd, because the tourism industry is pushing for openings.
In the past few days, TUI has announced that trips to Mallorca will take place during the Easter holidays. Other destinations in Europe are also possible according to the current corona restrictions. Sunny vacations can be enjoyed in parts of Croatia and Sardinia. In Switzerland, the ski areas are open to all winter sports fans. You can inquire about whether the desired travel destination is open to tourism from a travel agency or on the website of the Federal Foreign Office.
The Maldives and Cuba are currently popular as long-distance travel destinations, but you have to stay in the hotel complexes. However, you should always note that there are different entry restrictions for each country and sometimes for each region. So you often need a negative PCR test for entry.
Traveling abroad during the Easter holidays is allowed while the German tourism industry continues to fear for its survival, meanwhile a lot of criticism. “It would be incomprehensible and also not logically justified. The German hosts and destinations are well prepared when it comes to protection and hygiene measures. In addition, there are test options and finally digital contact tracking with apps like Luca. Even the RKI only assumes a low risk of infection in tourist overnight stays in its step-by-step plan. Tourism is not a pandemic driver. ”Says Norbert Kunz, Managing Director of the German Tourism Association.
2. Can I cancel if the situation changes?
It is recommended that you take out travel cancellation insurance. In the event of a corona illness, you can cancel without any major problems. In addition, many providers of package tours offer additional insurance for a small amount, with which a free cancellation or rebooking is usually possible up to 14 days before the start of the trip.
If the situation in the destination country changes drastically and the Ministry of Health issues a current travel warning, the travel provider will inform you whether the trip can take place or not. In most cases the booking can then be rebooked or canceled free of charge.
3. What is the situation on site in the hotels?
Over the past year, there have been repeated restrictions in regular hotel operations. Sometimes pools had to remain closed or a buffet was not allowed in the hotel restaurant.
“No general statement can be made about restrictions at the holiday destination or in the respective hotel. That depends entirely on the regulations of the federal states, and in some cases even on the regions. As a rule, the hotel or the tour operator will inform you whether SPA areas or other facilities are closed or under what conditions access is permitted, ”says Torsten Schäfer from the German Travel Association to NewsABC.net.
If you have booked your hotel because of the giant pool or the spa, you should rather find out whether the offer is available before booking.
4. Apartments as an alternative?
Holiday apartments in Germany are also offered on various platforms despite the ban on accommodation. The landlords hope that the corona measures will be relaxed at the Prime Minister’s Conference on March 22nd.
“The demand for Easter is still hesitant because many people are insecure. But there are bookings because some hope to be able to travel or have postponed the failed Easter holiday from last year to this year. If there is a ban on accommodation, you have the option of canceling free of charge. “, Says Kunz, Managing Director of the German Tourism Association.
According to Kunz, the operators of holiday apartments would be able to “open them again very quickly”, although they needed a “certain amount of planning ahead”. A specific decision at the Prime Minister’s Conference would therefore be welcomed by all vacation rental owners.
5. How safe is it to travel by car, train or plane?
The safest way to get here is by car, as you have the least contact with strangers here. However, travel to Austria, Denmark and within Germany is currently not possible, which is why many will probably fly on Easter vacation because they want to go to more distant destinations.
A study by Harvard University has examined the risk of infection with the Covid-19 virus on flights and comes to the conclusion that 99% of the viruses are filtered through the air system. However, an illness cannot be completely ruled out and so an attempt is made to further reduce the risk by requiring a mask.
Those who travel by train are currently only allowed to do so with a medical mask.
6. Will travel prices increase in the future?
As with hairdressers, who increased prices by an average of 8-10 percent after the lockdown, economists also expected travel to become more expensive due to the high demand. Torsten Schäfer from the German Travel Association assumes “a stable price level”. However, there could be deviations up and down in some points of the trip.
“At certain times or for certain destinations, there may be price fluctuations – depending on demand and supply,” says Schäfer. The airlines currently do not have the full range of services available, but that can and will change with expanded travel options and increasing demand.
“Anyone who has booked a package tour including a flight benefits from fixed prices. There are already attractively priced early booking offers from tour operators for holiday destinations to encourage travelers to book, ”says Schäfer.
Kunz, managing director of the German Tourism Association. however, considers higher costs to be possible in the German travel industry. “As a result of the pandemic, there is increased service and cleaning effort and, as a result, higher costs. In addition, many companies had to take out loans to rescue them, which have to be repaid. It is legitimate to include that in a calculation. In the summer of 2020, however, the price increases were extremely moderate. “