In principle, a worldwide travel warning from the Federal Foreign Office applies until June 14. This will be lifted for member states of the European Union from June 15 and replaced by individual travel advice, but the authority generally advises against unnecessary tourist trips. FOCUS Online gives an overview of five of the most popular travel destinations of the Germans and explains which rules apply to a vacation there. Before that, some important general information:
Caution when returning to Germany: In some cases, quarantine threatens
In general, the following should also be noted: holidaymakers should not only inform themselves about the entry modalities, in the worst case, the return trip to Germany can also result in quarantine. And that when
- the country traveled is within the EU and has or has had more than 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the past few days
- the country visited is a so-called “third country”, such as Turkey. In principle, returnees are currently forced to enter a two-week quarantine. In individual cases, if the infections in the respective country are demonstrably low, this can be omitted. The Robert Koch Institute provides travelers with information.
- In the event of an infection with Corona, travelers cannot count on a return campaign by the Federal Government, Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas announced.
Important information about health insurance in the event of a corona infection abroad:
- In the event of an infection with Corona, the statutory health insurance companies pay for the necessary treatments in EU member states and countries with social security agreements to the same extent as in Germany. However, the costs of returning the patient to hospital are not covered. Travelers should take out additional insurance for this.
- Anyone traveling outside the EU should in any case take out a foreign health insurance policy with return transport and clarify in advance exactly what this will cover in the event of a Covid 19 disease. Because some insurers exclude pandemics from insurance coverage or pay nothing in the event of a travel warning from the Federal Foreign Office.
1. Italy: Open since June 3rd – Entry and exit via Austria possible
In Italy, there is extensive freedom of travel again after about three months with corona restrictions. The country opened the borders on June 3 to holidaymakers from the other 26 EU countries as well as other countries such as Great Britain, Norway and Switzerland. Virus quarantine of two weeks is no longer required.
At airports, train stations, museums and many other public places, travelers can expect a scanner to measure fever. Strict distance and hygiene regulations apply everywhere, for example on the beach, in restaurants and in hotels.
Visits to the beach only with registration, masks and disposable gloves in shops
Guests must register in advance for public beach pools, otherwise they may not stay there. Different rules may apply on private beaches of hotels and campsites. Everywhere bathers have to make sure to keep enough distance from their neighbors. The general rule is: at least ten square meters of space per parasol.
In public places such as supermarkets, shops and museums there is also a requirement for masks, sometimes also for disposable gloves. You must bring your own masks, gloves are provided by the operator where required.
No stops in Austria allowed on the return journey
If you drive, you can enter Italy via Austria – although the borders between the two countries are otherwise closed. A return trip via Austria is also allowed, but only without any stopover in the country – fuel and toilet stops are also not permitted. In the event of an infringement, fines of up to 1450 euros are possible.
2. Spain: Slow and gradual opening from mid-June
From June 15th, around 6,000 German holidaymakers will be allowed to travel to Mallorca and other Balearic Islands as part of a pilot project. At least that was reported by Spanish media like "El País". The Germans' favorite island opens its gates before the rest of the country, which only cautiously wants to receive foreign visitors from July 1st.
For the authorities, however, “safety first” still applies. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said that it would guarantee that neither the tourists nor the citizens of the country would take risks.
Strict hygiene and safety rules
Strict rules are likely to apply to holidaymakers in Spain: plexiglass panes could be built on beaches, in any case bathers must also keep a minimum distance from each other here.
Even maximum stays on the beaches could be an option, as the “Tagesschau” reports. In all public areas, as in most European countries, there is also a mask requirement in Spain.
3. Greece: Entry from June 15 without quarantine
Athens has announced that travelers from 29 countries can travel to Greece without quarantine from June 15, including Germany. Only then should ferries be allowed to operate again. The situation in other countries is to be examined again on July 1; then more could be added.
Initially, there should only be flights from abroad to Athens and Thessaloniki. From July 1st, all regional airports are also to be opened for flights from abroad. A corona check will be carried out “for statistical purposes” at the Greek airports after landing from abroad, said Athens.
Mask requirement in public transport
In Greece, too, tourists must comply with the applicable hygiene regulations. For example, wearing a mouth-to-nose cover is compulsory in public transport, and "highly recommended" in shops and restaurants.
Distance rules must also be observed by visitors everywhere. On private beaches, for example, a maximum of 40 people are allowed per 1000 square meters and a minimum distance of four meters between the parasols is mandatory.
4. Turkey: Opening to tourism expected from mid-June
The federal government has not yet decided how it wants to deal with countries outside the EU. Turkey in particular, one of the Germans' most popular holiday destinations, is hoping for tourists from the Federal Republic – if possible from mid-June. The country is preparing airports, hotels and other locations for this. According to official guidelines, beaches with safety distances are set up on beaches, and towels should be packed in front of the pool.
The government has also developed a "Safe Tourism Program" in which restaurateurs and hotels voluntarily participate, thereby promoting vacationers' trust. German companies such as TÜV Süd are now hiring inspectors who will regularly check the companies.
Turkish Airlines wants to fly internationally again from June 10th
The semi-state airline Turkish Airlines, which wants to fly internationally again from June 10, announced that it will now use so-called hygiene experts on its flights. For example, they are supposed to ensure that there are no queues in front of the toilets or that the passengers take off their masks all at once during the meal distribution.
Thermal cameras are used at airports as well as in hotels to determine whether people have a fever. Without a mask, travelers are not even allowed to enter the terminals. Because wearing protective masks is also mandatory in Turkey in public spaces: holidaymakers and locals alike must put them on in marketplaces, in supermarkets and in public transport, in some cities and areas also everywhere in public spaces.
You also have to comply with distance rules in Turkey – but with three steps, these are rather small in European comparison.
5. The Netherlands: Tourism is gradually starting up again
The Holland vacation is possible again – but certainly not without restrictions. And planning is everything. "Please don't just get lucky," warned Prime Minister Mark Rutte recently.
Bungalow parks are gradually opening their gates and apartments are being rented out again. From July 1st, all campsites and holiday parks are to be 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.
The museums have been welcoming visitors again since June 1st – provided they register online beforehand. Restaurants, cafes, beach pavilions and pubs can again each serve a maximum of 30 guests – but only for those who have reserved. From July up to 100 guests are allowed.
In the Netherlands, people currently have to keep a minimum distance of 1.5 meters from each other, and a mask is mandatory on public transport for anyone 13 years and older.
Many of the popular holiday regions of the Germans are economically dependent on tourism. That is why they are working flat out to bring it back up as quickly as possible. Nevertheless, holidaymakers in all countries must expect massive restrictions in 2020. In this way, they avoid the obligation to wear a mask in public spaces in none of the above-mentioned countries. The regulations on the beaches are sometimes massive – but they can also have something positive: Sardine-like stringing of bathers seems to be absent in all holiday regions this year.