A heated discussion about Mallorca travel has broken out. Now the federal government is checking whether vacations in popular areas can be banned.
As a measure against the further spread of the coronavirus, the federal government is examining the temporary ban on holiday trips abroad. There is “an order to check whether it is not possible to temporarily prevent trips to popular holiday areas abroad,” said Deputy Government Spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer on Wednesday in Berlin. “That is now being checked by the responsible departments.”
But there are “major constitutional hurdles”, added Demmer restrictively. According to information from t-online, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of the Interior are involved in the examination.
The background to this is the temporary booking boom for Mallorca after the Germans’ favorite island was removed from the list of corona risk areas on March 14th. This also lifted the Federal Foreign Office’s travel warning. The move was made because the number of new infections there had fallen below 50 per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days. This means that holidays in Mallorca are possible again without quarantine and without the obligation to test when you return.
Even at the federal-state meeting on Monday, Mallorca was a hot topic of controversy. It was decided there, however, that in future a test requirement should be introduced for all air passengers entering Germany.
The test order now goes beyond that. Demmer did not give details of the test. A spokeswoman for the Federal Foreign Office said, however, that a worldwide travel warning like the one at the beginning of the pandemic last spring has not yet been planned.
Ramelow: All-clear for Mallorca “fatal wrong decision”
Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) also wants further measures against foreign travel. The minimum is “that everyone who leaves Germany and comes back must then submit a negative test,” said Söder on Wednesday in his government statement in the Bavarian state parliament in Munich. He also emphasized: “And I would prefer we could come up with a few other measures.”
Thuringia’s Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow (left) is currently extremely critical of Mallorca flights – and above all the decision of the federal government not to classify the island as a risk area: “We had a fatal development with the Mallorca flights. That shouldn’t have happened,” said Ramelow in the ZDF “Morgenmagazin”. He criticized the fact that the holiday island had been removed from the list of risk areas without prior consultation with the Prime Minister.
This gave the impression that it was unfair to open hotels in Mallorca while they were not allowed to open in Schleswig-Holstein, for example. “That has led to a fatal communication problem,” said Ramelow. After the decision to no longer classify Mallorca as a risk area, pressure suddenly arose within the federal government, “because everyone thought that vacation is now the order of the day”.
SPD: There will be no general ban with us
As the SPD announced in the Bundestag on Wednesday, it rejects a ban on vacation trips abroad. “There will be no general ban on traveling to popular holiday areas abroad with the SPD parliamentary group,” said the parliamentary manager of the SPD parliamentary group, Carsten Schneider, on Wednesday at the German press agency in Berlin. “Generally banning trips abroad goes beyond sensible protective measures, is disproportionate and contributes to further uncertainty among the population.” The SPD parliamentary group is not available for such a restriction.
Schneider also said that it was correct that, in addition to the quarantine regulations, there should now also be compulsory testing for people returning from abroad, “even if it is not a risk area”.
SPD Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) had recently sharply criticized trips to Mallorca. “It is not a good thing that such vacation trips are now taking place in this situation,” said the finance minister when the government presented the key figures for the federal budget for 2022. With regard to restrictions in Germany, he said it was not right that “some” then traveled elsewhere in the world.