Thursday, August 5

Traveling in Germany: What is allowed (and what is not) during the Easter holidays?


A few days at the beach, an adventure in the city or a vacation home somewhere in the countryside – all of this remains difficult or impossible during the Easter holidays between April 1 and 5. In light of rising infection rates, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the 16 state leaders agreed early Tuesday morning to continue to discourage tourist travel in and out of the country.

This does not mean that you should avoid traveling altogether, but many things will no longer be possible.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about Germany’s strict lockdown measures during Easter

Can I travel within Germany?

You can travel anywhere, you just can’t find accommodation. This is because hotels and vacation homes will be closed to tourists in all states during Easter. Overnight stays are only allowed in special cases, for example if you are traveling on business.

In most states, you are also not allowed to stay overnight in hotels to visit family members, only if there is an urgent reason to do so. This also applies to Easter. However, each state has specified its own rules in its disease ordinances.

Can I at least travel to visit my relatives?

Generally, nothing stands in the way of an Easter visit to the family. However, even in this case, only a maximum of five people from two households are allowed to meet, and children up to 14 years old are not counted.

Contact restrictions will not be relaxed during the holidays, such as at Christmas, when meetings with four people outside the home were possible, at Easter. In addition, people are encouraged to take advantage of Covid-19 free trial offers, that is, to get tested before joining.

Where can I spend the night?

Anyone who wants to travel on Easter will have to look for private accommodation, for example with family or friends. The states of Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Rhineland-Palatinate had lobbied to allow “low-contact holidays” (such as in a self-catering holiday home) in their own state during Easter. but he failed to win the approval of Chancellor Merkel.

Stalls and tables on the normally crowded Baltic Sea coast in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania will remain empty this year at Easter. Photo: DPA

What about day trips?

Day trips are allowed, but here too the federal and state governments recommend caution. Restaurants and cafes are closed. In some selected regions with low incidence rates, individual areas of public life can be opened up as part of temporary model projects with strict protective measures.

READ ALSO: Why a German city is lifting its lockdown despite the third wave of coronavirus

Will Mallorca continue to be an alternative to national holidays?

In principle, yes. However, on their return, tourists must now be tested for the virus before boarding a plane back to Germany. In future, this will apply to all flights to Germany and to all travelers, regardless of whether they come from a coronavirus risk zone or for what purpose they come to Germany, as long as the Bundestag votes to adopt this in the disease. control law.

Additionally, the federal and state governments have banned airlines from offering additional flights to the Germans’ favorite island during the Easter holidays.

However, quarantine will not be reintroduced for returnees from Mallorca. With the removal of the island from the Robert Koch Institute’s list of risk areas, this measure has not been necessary since March 14.

Where else can I travel abroad?

There is no travel ban for any destination. In principle, you can travel to all countries where there are no entry restrictions for Germany and with which there are air connections.

However, quarantine is mandatory for around 160 out of around 200 countries around the world upon return because they are classified as risk areas. Here is a complete and up-to-date list of current risk areas.

Apart from Mallorca and the other Balearic Islands such as Ibiza, Menorca and Formentera, only a few holiday destinations in Europe are not on the risk list so far. These include the Croatian holiday peninsula of Istria, parts of the Spanish mainland, and the Portuguese coast of the Algarve. However, hotels in the Algarve, for example, cannot receive tourists, as is the case in Germany.

Can I also go on vacation to a risk zone?

That is not prohibited either. And there are also air connections to areas like the Canary Islands. Many hotels are open there. However, you will have to accept the quarantine upon your return to Germany, and perhaps also critical questions from your employer and others.

Why are holidays abroad so controversial?

Virologists warn that increasing mobility and carelessness during the holidays are increasing infection rates. “If travel activity increases, incidence rates will increase. That’s relatively clear, ”said Mainz virologist Bodo Plachter.

“On vacation, you want to relax, and then you want to forget about the virus. And that leads to (…) caution decreases and infection rates increase. ”This effect already existed last summer, he said.

Tour operators, however, insist that there are social distancing rules and hygiene plans and therefore that vacation packages are relatively safe.

READ ALSO: ‘It is not an invitation to go there’: Germany urges against holidays in Mallorca after lifting of travel warning

In light of the new wave of infections, does anyone still want to travel?

The vast majority of Germans do not. In a survey conducted by the opinion research institute YouGov on behalf of DPA, 79 percent of respondents said last week that they did not want to travel.

Only two percent had planned a vacation abroad at the time of the survey (March 16-18), another four percent wanted to travel within the country, and ten percent had yet to make up their minds.


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