Are you tired of vacationing on the Baltic or North Sea? You don’t want to spend the whole summer on balconies? Then there is good news for you. Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) now wants to gradually lift the travel warning, which is still valid until June 14.
On Monday, he agreed with his colleagues from ten of Germany’s most popular holiday destinations to work towards opening the borders to tourists by the beginning of summer. A video conference was about how the border controls and quarantine rules ordered due to the corona pandemic can be lifted and how the necessary hygiene at the holiday locations can be guaranteed.
After the meeting, Maas announced that the travel warning for German tourists, which is still valid worldwide until June 14, will initially only be lifted for the European Union and replaced by individual travel advice for the individual countries. The Federal Foreign Office is also already thinking about lifting the travel warning for individual countries outside the EU. Germany wants to open the borders again at least for its neighboring countries by June 15 – only in the Czech Republic and Poland is it unclear when an agreement can be reached.
The next step is to lift the two-week quarantine requirement for foreigners who still apply in many countries. Because even with “All inclusive” and 24-hour room service, a vacation in a hotel room is no fun. If this is regulated, the worldwide travel warning should also fall from June 15.
“We want to return to normalization step by step,” said Maas. But he also emphasized that summer vacation will not be the same as before the Corona crisis. “We shouldn’t be under the illusion that there can be a quick return to business as usual.”
Here you can see which six popular travel destinations are surprisingly good and which four other popular travel destinations are jiggling:
Summer vacation 2020: The chances are not bad in these countries
- 1. Austria
The relief is great in the Alpine Republic. Many vacationers had already booked their summer stay in the land of mountains and lakes before the Corona crisis. There are many indications that they can now arrive from mid-June. Hotels and accommodation facilities in Austria can reopen from the 29th. There are then only minor restrictions.
According to the Minister of Tourism Elisabeth Köstinger (ÖVP), a mouth protection obligation applies in the entrance area and at the reception. However, groups of guests should be treated similarly to people from a common household and therefore do not have to keep a safe distance from each other. Buffets are allowed with special hygienic arrangements, the hotel’s wellness facilities may also be used.
The Holland vacation is possible again. Bungalow parks are already gradually opening their gates and holiday apartments are being rented out again. From July 1st, all campsites and holiday parks should be fully reopened. So far, this was only limited. For example, showers and toilets on campsites had to remain closed. The sanitary facilities will also reopen on July 1st on beaches and in nature parks. Museums can again receive visitors from June 1st – provided they register online beforehand. Restaurants, cafes, beach pavilions and pubs can each serve a maximum of 30 guests. From July up to 100 guests are allowed.
- 3. Croatia
The country, heavily dependent on tourism, on the Adriatic Sea with its long, bay-rich coast and the many islands forcefully urges an opening of the European borders. Relaxed entry requirements have been in effect since May 9. Accordingly, foreigners with three reasons are allowed to cross the border without a corona test and without quarantine requirements: if they own a property or a boat in Croatia, if they travel to a funeral, or if they have an invitation from a company and arrive at their entry there is economic interest.
An informal directive from the Ministry of the Interior states that the last provision also applies to vacationers who have booked accommodation in Croatia. The authorities are also working on new rules to prevent large crowds of people on the beaches.
- 4. Greece
After almost two months, the Greek archaeological sites were reopened on Monday. This initially only applies to outdoor sites, such as the Acropolis of Athens. The museums will then open on June 15, according to the Ministry of Culture. All bathing beaches were opened last weekend. In addition, trips to all parts of the country and the island of Crete have been permitted again from Monday. The government said that the green light for travel to the smaller islands should also be given at the end of May.
Immigrants from abroad still need to be quarantined for 14 days. For travelers from countries with low spread of the corona virus, however, this should soon be lifted. From July 1, according to the Greek head of government Kyriakos Mitsotakis, tourism in Greece should restart completely, but under hygienic conditions. Tourism is extremely important for the country, which had only left its great economic crisis behind in 2018. Most recently, 33 million tourists came in the year.
Vacation opportunities: rather good, since the incidence of infections has so far been rather low and tourism is important as a source of income for Greece
- 5. Poland
The country will hold on to border controls with other EU countries until June 12. Foreigners are not allowed in. So far there are exceptions for people with permanent residence permits, for truck drivers and diplomats. Hotels and shopping centers have reopened on May 4th. In a further step to end the lockdown, restaurants and cafés have been allowed to reopen since Monday. However, there must be a minimum distance of two meters between the tables. Cooks and cellars are also obliged to wear mouth-nose protection.
Vacation opportunities: rather good if the Polish government is ready to reopen the borders for vacationers
- 6. Spain
Germans and sun-seekers from other countries should not book a vacation to Spain in early summer. The government in Madrid reiterated on Monday that the border could not be opened to tourists until the end of June at the earliest. Until then, even the Spaniards would be prohibited from traveling to other regions of the country. Mallorca and the other holiday islands can hope to be able to receive a limited number of domestic and foreign visitors a little earlier.
Transport minister José Luis Ábalos confirmed that there is a working group that is talking about a pilot project of this kind, with which one wants to gain initial experience. The islands have been campaigning for a “safe tourism corridor” for a long time. Those people who are allowed to enter despite closed borders because they have a first home in Spain or are starting a job have been in quarantine for two weeks since Friday and until further notice.
Vacation opportunities: hope for the Balearic Islands and Canaries, mainland Spain rather shaky
- 7. Italy
Given the opening of borders in other EU countries, Italy was also under pressure. Because the summer season is just around the corner – holidaymakers should also come to Italy. Therefore, entries from abroad are again permitted from June 3. You can also travel again within Italy. Regions like South Tyrol, which hotels open from the end of May, are vying for German tourists.
But the border with Austria is still tight. In any case, distance rules should apply everywhere, parasols on the beach should be far enough apart. Bookings for access to beach resorts are designed to prevent people from frying too close together in the sun. Buffets in hotels are prohibited. Disinfectants must be available everywhere.
- 8. France
After a complete two-month standstill, France’s tourist destinations are slowly being brought back to life. At the weekend, several beaches on the country’s coasts opened, the pilgrimage to Lourdes welcomed visitors and the famous island of Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, located in the Wadden Sea, was accessible again. France’s State Secretary for Tourism, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, spoke out in favor of opening as many sights as possible by the end of June.
To this end, the government plans to record a time perspective in the week of May 25th. With world-famous sights such as the Eiffel Tower, it is still unclear when it will be accessible to tourists again. Large museums like the Louvre in Paris are unlikely to open their doors until September. Smaller museums can again receive visitors. Cafes and restaurants in France could reopen in regions where the virus is less common from June 2. The government hopes that summer holidays in the country will be possible from July – at least for the French.
- 9. Turkey
Turkey is gradually loosening the corona measures and preparing for an opening to tourism. In the meantime, only travel restrictions apply to 15 instead of 31 cities and provinces as before. The country plans to begin domestic travel at the end of May, and hopes to attract international holidaymakers in June. Strict corona requirements should apply to hotels and restaurants. Distance and hygiene rules must be observed, for example, and the staff should receive pandemic training. Luggage is treated with disinfectants.
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Turkey has also developed a certification program for hotels. After opening for international flights, corona tests are to be carried out at the border crossings, for example at Antalya Airport. The semi-governmental airline Turkish Airlines recently extended its flight stop for international flights until June 1.
Vacation opportunities: shaky because infection is still high and German travel warnings could be in the way
It is still unclear when normality will return to resorts such as Hurghada and Sharm el Sheikh. Hotels are now allowed to reopen for local vacationers with 25 percent occupancy and from June 1st with 50 percent occupancy. Among other things, the operators must provide disinfectants at the entrance and disinfect guests’ luggage on arrival and departure. Experts check these conditions and issue a certificate for which around 170 hotels have so far applied. At the airport in Cairo, new thermal imaging cameras are also to check whether travelers have a fever. The borders are still tight for holidaymakers from abroad.
Vacation opportunities: rather shaky because German travel warnings could still be valid
- 11. Schweitz
The borders with Switzerland should also reopen on June 15, there are no restrictions on freedom of movement in the country. Many hotels have never closed. Shops are open again, as are restaurants, where, however, no more than four guests should sit at the table and keep a distance between the tables. Events such as the big classical music festival in Lucerne and the jazz festival in Montreux were canceled.
The number of new infections has been very low since April. At the height of the epidemic, Switzerland had many corona infections in terms of population. However, the situation in the parts of the country was very different. The border cantons Ticino towards Italy in the south and Geneva and Vaud in the west towards France were particularly affected.
- 12. Portugal
The prospects for a summer vacation in Portugal look less bleak. The country with its ten million inhabitants is extremely dependent on tourism, which accounts for around 15 percent of its economic output. In 2019, the holiday areas from Algarve to Madeira booked 27 million guests. To save what can be saved, Portugal now wants to gradually open up to foreign tourism.
The AHP hotel association recently announced that most hotels could be open again in mid-July. The tourism authority also wants to build trust with a new hygiene seal under the motto “Clean & Safe”. Tourist institutions can apply for it free of charge. Compliance with the regulations should be checked regularly. Thanks to an early response and strict measures, the Atlantic sun land was much less affected by Covid-19 than Spain, for example.
- 13. Denmark
Denmark was one of the first countries in Europe to close its borders in the struggle against Corona on March 14th. Since then, tourists and other foreigners without a specific reason for entry have not been able to enter the country. This not only upset the travel plans of German spring vacationers, but also the finances of the Danish holiday home operators, most of whose guests come from Germany.
However, anyone planning a summer trip to Copenhagen or the Danish coast has had hope since Thursday: Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen had shown himself openly in a TV debate about the possibility of soon allowing tourists into the country, for example with a rental contract for a holiday home or with a hotel reservation could prove the reason for their entry. Frederiksen said that this only had to be discussed in political talks.
- 14. Sweden
The trips of many Swedish holidaymakers should also depend on the Danish decision. Because, for example, if you want to travel to Sweden by car, you usually drive via Denmark. An alternative can be the arrival by ferry from Kiel, Rostock or Travemünde, which continue to drive. There are currently hardly any flights from Germany to Stockholm or Gothenburg and if so, only from Frankfurt. In addition, there is a provisional entry ban in Sweden until June 15 – however, this does not apply to countries in the EU and the European Free Trade Association.
- 15. Czech Republic
There is still no fixed road map for the revival of the tourism business. Prime Minister Andrej Babis wants to open the closed border to travelers from Austria and Slovakia first – probably already in mid-June. Germans still have to be patient. In Bavaria, the corona situation is “not ideal,” Babis said in an interview. In 2019, more than two million German overnight guests were counted.
They made up the largest group of foreign tourists. The historic old town of Prague, usually a magnet for people from all over the world, is currently almost deserted. In some hostels and hotels in the Moldovan metropolis, the homeless find temporary accommodation. When the borders open again, travelers come across a country that has been largely spared by the corona virus.