- In Germany, strict exit and travel restrictions still apply. However, far-reaching easing could be decided on Wednesday.
- In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, for example, guests from Germany should be able to go on vacation before Pentecost.
- So far, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg have been more cautious. A national association even sees itself called for a “cry for help”.
It is like so often in these Corona times: The happiness of vacationers may depend on the state in which they live. And the future of hoteliers or restaurateurs, whether their business is in Baden-Württemberg or in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. At the crucial federal and state conference call on Wednesday, very different points of view and interests may once again clash. After that, every federal state will probably go its own way again.
In general: From the north, where the number of corona infected has been quite low for weeks, brisk tones can be heard. Then the people from the North Sea rushed ahead of Lower Saxony on Monday and announced that the catering trade may open again on Monday, May 11, subject to conditions. Hotels, pensions and youth hostels are to follow two weeks later, but only with 50 percent occupancy.
The south is all the more hesitant. Perspective for hotels and restaurants? Travel options for vacationers? Nothing. Wait until Wednesday, it says. Hardship and suffering are growing there as well, and thousands of hotels and restaurants are threatened with this as well.
Holidays at Pentecost? “We are not yet writing off June”
Baden-Wuerttemberg: The country in the southwest of the republic has world famous travel destinations. Heidelberg, Black Forest, Lake Constance. But when vacationers are allowed to go back is completely open. This is also due to the fact that Baden-Württemberg has a particularly large number of people who tested positive for the new corona virus. As of Monday morning there were more than 32,000, including more than 1,400 deaths, according to the Robert Koch Institute.
After all, the hotel and restaurant association Dehoga has a three-stage plan. Baden-Württemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony have worked it out together. According to this, zoos, amusement parks and climbing gardens should open first. Then, in a second phase, restaurants as well as hotels and holiday apartments, if only to a limited extent. Only in a third phase should overnight tourism be possible without restrictions.
For the Baden-Württemberg Dehoga regional association, this is not enough. He wants a concrete perspective with fixed dates for the industry – at the latest on Wednesday. After all, it is only a few weeks until the Pentecost holidays in early June, an attractive source of income. A Dehoga spokesman hopefully: “We are not writing June off yet.”
Opening of hotels: “Bavaria must not be disadvantaged”
Bavaria: The Free State is also a popular travel destination, not least because of Chiemsee, Neuschwanstein and Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Only when the country is open for tourism again is completely open, also because Bavaria has the most corona infected among all federal states. As of Monday morning, there were almost 43,000, including more than 1,900 deaths, according to the Robert Koch Institute.
Prime Minister Markus Söder has so far only made suggestions. However, if, as so often, he takes Austria as a role model (according to Söder, the Alpine Republic of Bavaria is about two weeks ahead in terms of the corona infection process), Bavarian gastronomy should open again at the end of May. Hotels, in turn, could only open in mid-June. It is still unclear whether this will happen.
The Bavarian Hotel and Restaurant Association published a “call for help” on Monday. He urges “a perspective when our businesses will be back for their guests”. There should be no disadvantage for Bavaria.
The association fears significant competitive disadvantages, especially compared to Austria and other German federal states, if Bavaria stays closed for too long. Dehoga managing director Frank-Ulrich John informed NewsABC.net that it was important to allow tourism “as soon as possible”, or at least for the Pentecost holidays at the beginning of June.
Update: Bavaria announced on Tuesday that it wanted to open restaurants and hotels in May. On May 18, restaurants are supposed to start, first outdoors (such as beer gardens), a week later also indoors. On May 30th, punctually at Pentecost, hotels can open again.
Hotels and apartments on the Baltic Sea could open at the end of May
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: Tourism plays a prominent role in the northeast. 2,000 kilometers of the Baltic Sea coast and more than 2,000 lakes offer millions of holidaymakers the opportunity to relax and enjoy themselves in normal years.
The government in Schwerin is now benefiting from the fact that in no other country is the number of corona infected as low as in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Monday morning there were 699, including 18 deaths, according to the Robert Koch Institute.
It has been clear since Monday evening: restaurants in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania should be allowed to open to the locals from Saturday (May 9) from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. under strict hygiene requirements and with a maximum of six adults per table. Waiters and service staff should wear masks, but guests should not. On May 18, hotels, guesthouses and holiday apartments will also open to the locals. The entry ban for tourists from other federal states, which has been in force since mid-March, is to be lifted on May 25th. This would make it possible for all German citizens to miss the Pentecost holiday missed at the end of May on the Baltic Sea or in the Mecklenburg Lake District. The hotels are initially only allowed to rent a maximum of 60 percent of their bed capacity.
Holidays at Pentecost? More clarity on Wednesday
Schleswig-Holstein: The northernmost state of the republic likes to advertise with sea, sand and dune grass as far as the eye can see. Only tourists are not allowed to come at the moment. In Schleswig-Holstein travel and exit restrictions apply until further notice.
The state government has already given some hope. After all, tourism is one of the most important pillars of the Schleswig-Holstein economy. According to Dehoga, every fifth job in the country is directly or indirectly dependent on tourism. Schleswig-Holstein is also one of the states that was less affected by the corona virus. As of Monday morning, there were almost 2,800 people infected with corona, including 113 deaths, according to the Robert Koch Institute.
The restaurant could reopen on Monday, May 18, it says. Hotels and apartments are to follow at the end of May. The Dehoga regional association is not aware of any further details. For example, it is unclear whether only residents of Schleswig-Holstein can go on vacation themselves or whether others can. It is also unclear under which conditions restaurants, hotels and holiday apartments are allowed to open again. Will there be more clarity on Wednesday? At least that’s what restaurateurs, hoteliers and, last but not least, vacationers nationwide hope for.
10 tiny house owners reveal what it’s like to live in a confined space during the corona pandemic
10 tiny house owners reveal what it’s like to live in a confined space during the corona pandemic
Where to with the house
Lindsay Wood and her husband struggle to find space for their 28-square-meter tiny house during the lockdown.
About a week before the California curfew came into force, Lindsay and Eric Wood were asked to vacate the property on which they had parked their tiny house. As most Tiny House owners know, this is common because land use regulations at Tiny Houses can be particularly complicated and strict.
The couple now live in Lindsay’s parents’ house and are trying to find a new rental space for their tiny house. But that is currently proving to be particularly difficult. Because of the curfew, they can only view empty lots through zoom video conferencing.
But they look forward to living in their small home again as soon as possible because they love the lifestyle.
“In contrast to a large house, we are outdoors much faster,” Lindsay told Insider. “My door is much closer to the outside world.”
A parking space for the converted school bus
Like the Woods, the retiree Keri Gailloux fights for a parking space for her tiny house in these strange times.
Keri Gailloux is a pensioner who travels around the country in her converted school bus. She usually parks her bus in public parks – but there have been some problems lately. She had an eleven-day reservation at Mustang Island Park, Texas. However, she said she was asked to leave the park because it was closed due to the curfew.
Gailloux said she should have begged the parking attendant to allow her to stay a few days longer since there was nowhere else to go. She feared that she would have to live on the street, which would increase her chances of being infected with the corona virus. She described the incident as her “low point”.
Finally, she said that she had managed to convince the park keeper to allow her to stay a few more days while booking a new location in another park. Ultimately, it worked, but Gailloux remains cautious about traveling with her tiny house during this dangerous time.
“People gather in the parks as if everything was normal,” Gailloux told Insider. “I stay alone or with my friend. We have gotten around a lot in the past few months. We are careful, but a touch, a sneeze, or an accidental hug is enough to make you sick. My biggest fear is to be sick, alone with my dog in my bus. What if I am unable to drive to a hospital or clinic? I’m afraid of the petrol pump, I’m afraid of ignorance, I’m afraid that I’ll die and my dog will suffer. ”
Motorhomes also affected
Destiny and Adam Clayton also struggled to find parking for their renovated motorhome.
The Claytons panicked as RV parks and campsites in the United States began to close. They knew that they could not move freely as usual.
They were also worried that they might run out of supplies on the go – especially the propane that heats the motorhome and allows them to cook while driving. They also had no place to store food and supplies in the RV for more than a week at a time, so they decided to stay in a family member’s home in North Carolina until the virus was under control.
The pandemic has also affected their livelihood. The main source of income for the Claytons is wedding photography. With thousands of weddings postponed, they are unemployed and can no longer live in their home.
But the biggest impact they feel is that they can no longer get in touch with neighbors. “Many people who travel or live with the Tiny House are dependent on their neighborhood and relationships,” Destiny Clayton told Insider. “It’s a very lonely lifestyle when you can’t go out and meet people.
Pregnant out of the tiny house
Bela and Spencer Fishbeyn also left their 27-square-meter tiny house during the pandemic because Bela is pregnant.
The Fishbeyns believed that their tiny house would have been sufficient to accommodate them during the pandemic, if necessary. There is enough space for supplies and your house is in a remote forest area where you are safe. But because of Bela’s pregnancy, they decided that it would be better if they lived closer to their family.
The couple and their daughter Escher are used to not being at home as they often travel by van and rent the tiny house to people all year round. This time, however, they will stay with their family in North Carolina at least until August when Bela should have their second child.
“While we were packing up our things, we didn’t know when we would see our house again,” Bela Fishbeyn told Insider. “It is difficult to admit that, but we really don’t know when we will come back to our tiny house. An airport is pretty much the last place we want to go to at the moment ”.
Home office in a confined space
Sam Cosner and Tim Davidson, who live in a Tiny House in Florida, have problems with the storage space and with working in a confined space from the home office.
Sam Cosner and Tim Davidson from Sarasota, Florida, have been living in a tiny house since 2017, so they have already got used to living in a small space. Recently, however, they have faced completely new challenges. What is particularly difficult for them is finding places where they can store all the extra groceries that they have bought.
They also have to cook a lot more in their tiny house because the restaurants are closed. The couple said that this was particularly difficult in their small house. But these are not the only problems.
“Working from home was sometimes quite a challenge,” Cosner told Insider. “We have adapted to this in the meantime, but it was initially difficult to find a comfortable place to work there for a whole shift. Sticking to a training schedule in a tiny house was also very challenging. ”
Quarantine on 12 square meters
Alexis Stephens and Christian Parsons also live in their 12-square-meter tiny house during the lockdown.
Alexis Stephens said that during the curfew, she and her partner bought three times as much groceries as usual. This was a problem for them, since they have very limited storage space in their Tiny House in central Oregon. The couple decided to buy a cool box, which is in front of the house and can be used to store milk and other chilled food. They also store some food and drink in their shower to save space.
The shower is another challenge they face, Stephens said. They usually shower in the gym because it’s easier, but now that the gyms are closed, they have to shower at home. This means that each time you have to take out all the food that is kept in the shower.
“My friend and I have been working and living together in a tiny house for five years. Fortunately, we are used to spending most of the time only a few meters apart, ”Stephens told Insider. “But we miss our regular little trips to the gym and the café. So we always had a little change of scenery. At the moment, the daily walks with our dog are essential for our general well-being. We have never been so grateful for our cozy, crisis-proof, small house ”.
Where to shower when the gym closes?
Beka and Nathan Watson live in a seven-square-meter van in California, and they too had to find a new place to shower when their gym closed.
Beka and Nathan Watson are both nurses and are at the forefront of the fight against the corona virus. When they’re not in the hospital, they live in a van that they converted into a tiny house.
Like Stephens and Parsons, they usually shower in the gym. However, since this is currently not possible, you now have to shower in the hospitals where you work.
Other than that, Nathan Watson said they are happy to have a house that will allow them to travel anywhere easily.
“It is a huge advantage if we have to stay at home but can drive our house through the Drive-Thru or we can stop at a beautiful lake and watch the sunset,” he told Insider.
Four people on 27 square meters
Zac and Katie Ruiz, who live with their sons in a 27-square-meter tent, said they were particularly grateful for their outdoor shower.
The family of four, based in New Mexico, has to take a shower in gyms or at home with family members in winter. However, since the pandemic only reached them in the warmer months, they can use their outdoor shower.
Zac Ruiz told insiders that they felt that their lifestyle had actually prepared them for self-isolation. The couple already work from home, teach their children there and they buy groceries anyway.
They also bought a well on their property and recently bought a few chickens, which makes it easier for them to take care of themselves. The only thing they really had to change is their diet. “We usually buy a lot more fresh vegetables and things like that and store them in our fridge. But we have always planned everything so that we have exactly what we need for a week, ”said Ruiz.
They are concerned about how the pandemic will affect their businesses. However, the family said that the pandemic had broadly increased their feeling that living in a tiny house was the right choice for them.
Perfectly prepared for the pandemic
Dolly Rubiano, who lives in a tiny house on wheels in Australia, also feels that her normal daily routine has prepared her for the pandemic.
“My Tiny House is the most hygienic place in the world for me right now,” Rubiano told Insider.
Rubiano said that since she now works from home, she has to empty her compost toilet once a week instead of every two weeks. She has room to store her supplies for one month at a time and she feels safer at home since she is the only one who comes and goes. In addition, says Rubiano, she can stay in touch with her loved ones over the Internet. Technology is their preferred means of communication, even if there is no pandemic.
“Self-isolation and social distancing are not that different from what I’ve done in my tiny house in the past two and a half years,” she said. “Welcome to my world.”
Reusable toilet paper in the Tiny House
Whitney Leigh Morris and Adam Winkleman also think that their sustainable lifestyle has prepared them for self-isolation in their 37 square meter Tiny House in California.
Morris and Winkleman have both been working from home for years, so they didn’t have to change their daily routines much. You only have to do without the walks in the park that you used to take with your son. Morris even posted tips on working from home in a small space on her blog.
Morris also told insiders that she believed that her quest for sustainability in a small space had made her isolation easier. “For years we have used reusable items instead of single-use items, so there was no reason for us to buy or hoard things like toilet paper,” she said, freeing up space in the house to store food.
Living near other tiny houses has made Morris and Winkleman feel less isolated, even in the pandemic. “We are surrounded by three tiny houses from the 1920s – just like ours. We keep in touch with our neighbors through windows, fences and roofs, ”she said.
The sense of community helps them to survive this time.
This article has been updated.
Note: In a first version Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania was incorrectly referred to as the largest federal state in terms of area. This honor naturally goes to Bavaria. Instead, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania is the state in which the fewest inhabitants live per square kilometer.