Correspondent in Berlin
A visibly exhausted Merkel announced at dawn the agreement she has reached with her ministers and the presidents of the Bundesländer in a videoconference lasting more than twelve hours. The Germans will finally be able to travel to Spain at Easter. The German government no longer organizes its travel permits by “risk areas”, as it has been up to now, and limits itself to require a negative PCR test immediately before flying back to Germany, although it advises against traveling, both in the interior and abroad, if it is not strictly necessary.
“We advise against all trips abroad, on arrival from risk territories a mandatory quarantine will be required and from territories with a variant of the virus it will be stricter. We will talk with the airlines to establish the way in which those who return from the rest of the vacation destinations do it as safely as possible With tests that have to be carried out before boarding the planes, it will be a generalized test obligation for trips to Germany, ”explained the German Chancellor at around three in the morning.
Therefore, the Easter tourist campaign is saved for destinations so demanded by Germans such as Mallorca, which has been the center of the heated political debate around these measures. And for residents of Germany who do not travel, what awaits them Merkel has called a “calm time”: it closes again the little non-essential trade, which had partially opened and only during the last two weeks, the classification of essential trade is hardened, in fact, and gastronomy, leisure, culture, sports and tourism will continue to be completely closed . Religious services may only be held through the internet and the family nucleus may only meet with one other person at home, with a limit of five people in which children under 14 do not count.
On Holy Thursday and Easter Saturday there will be “extensive contact restrictions,” a strict ban on meeting April 1-5. “Only the food retail trade in the strictest sense will open on Saturday,” says the document that comes out of this meeting, and Thursday, April 1, the food retail trade will also be closed. The goal of this forceful closure, sold as a “long rest period at Easter”, is a “very significant reduction of all contacts over several days to break the exponential growth of the third wave.” And the so-called “emergency brake” will be strictly applied, the relaxation recoil mechanism that affects all districts whose incidence for every one hundred thousand inhabitants in seven days exceeds one hundred new cases.
Although you can travel to Mallorca, holidays in the region itself will continue to be prohibited without the exceptions that Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Schleswig-Holstein had demanded, which wanted to open at least holiday apartments and campsites. Regarding the period after April 5, the document says that “if the criteria for an opening step are met according to the MPK resolution of March 3, 2021 in the next few days, it will be implemented as of April 6, 2021 ». However, the criteria remain low incidences and it is highly unlikely that they will drop drastically after Easter.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism