It is a Shock for Mallorca and for all of Spain: With the official travel warning of Berlin for the most popular vacation island of the Germans and for the entire Spanish mainland disappears for Spain's tourism the last hope to be able to save the vacation year 2020 still.
Already hours after tightening of the German travel advice it hails with the Spanish hoteliers booking cancellations from Germany.
"Now we might as well close the island down completely," says the receptionist at a hotel in the island's capital, Palma. First had in July the order of London to send all British Spain returnees in quarantine to Mass cancellations from Great Britain Led. Now the hoteliers are also losing the German market. "It can't get any worse," says receptionist.
Germans are the most important vacation customers on Mallorca. In 2019, they made up a good 40 percent of the roughly ten million foreign vacationers who came to the island paradise last year. The second most popular visitor nation to the Mediterranean island is the British.
Mallorca: travel warning destroys already difficult business
"This is a big blow," says Isabel Vidal, hotel owner in Playa de Palma, the stronghold of German tourism. "Now no Germans will come," regrets Maria Frontera, president of the Mallorcan hotel association. These countries are Corona risk areas
In any case, had in this Corona summer only Around half of all Mallorca hostels open, Because bookings have been slow after the first wave of the virus in the spring. Now also many of those hotels, which had dared to take up the enterprise, want to barricade the doors. More on the topic: Mallorca: How Ballermann locales circumvent their bans
"When the last Germans have left, the shutters will be lowered," writes the newspaper "Diario de Mallorca". "This is fatal for the island."This will give the rest to tourism this year, it says. The island thrives on holidaymakers, with the vacation business contributing around a third of economic output.
Mallorca is now a corona risk area
Until the last minute, the 850.000 residents on Mallorca prayed that their island would be spared from the second major wave of the virus currently rolling through Spain. But the dream was over when the Foreign Office in Berlin announced on its website on Friday evening: "Warnings are currently being ied against non-essential tourist travel to Spain, with the exception of the Canary Islands, due to high levels of infection."
Official statement of the German government: "Spain was and is strongly affected by Covid-19. There are regional pockets of infection, particularly in the autonomous communities of Aragon, Catalonia, Navarre, La Rioja, Castile and Leon, the Basque Country, the capital region of Madrid and the Balearic Islands. On Mallorca, Palma de Mallorca is particularly affected."
Only for the Canary Islands there is an all-clear, writes the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On the Canary Islands, the infection figures are still at a lower level. Background: Mallorca is a Corona risk area: the most important answers
Tui canceled all package tours to Mallorca
Spain-wide, the incidence of Corona disease now exceeds 50 cases per 100.000 inhabitants in seven days, which is why the Robert Koch Institute has declared Spain a risk area, with the exception of the Canary Islands, it adds.
This assessment has consequences for the German returnees from the corresponding Spanish vacation areas. For them, there is now a test obligation when traveling home. And, as long as there is no negative result, there is also a quarantine obligation.
30.000 German package holidaymakers on Mallorca
According to the German Travel Association, there are currently around 30.000 German package holidaymakers on Mallorca. In addition, there is an unknown number of individual travelers.
Some German package tour operators initially canceled all trips to Mallorca and the Spanish mainland. Others left customers free to decide whether or not to take the Spain vacation. In addition, rebookings are offered. TUI, the largest travel provider, offered customers already in the affected vacation areas that they could fly home earlier than planned.
Meanwhile, Germany's Health Minister Jens Spahn defended the travel warning ied by the federal government. "I know what this decision means for many vacationers, for travel agencies or even for Spain. But unfortunately, the infection figures there are rising sharply, too sharply," said the CDU politician to the "Bild am Sonntag". But he also clarified: "This is not a travel ban."
But who travels despite warning, must be aware of his responsibility and protect themselves and others. And: "Anyone coming back from a vacation in Spain must be quarantined as long as they do not have a negative test result."Party vacations on Mallorca are currently irresponsible, said Spahn. Whereas the most important party temples on the island have been closed for weeks anyway for safety reasons. More on the topic: Travel warning for almost all of Spain – including Mallorca
Experts find fault with Spanish health system
On the Spanish mainland, for which Berlin ied a blanket warning, the situation varies greatly by region. In the north of the country, the risk value is far exceeded in many places. Meanwhile, in the southern vacation regions of Valencia (Costa Blanca) or Andalusia (Costa del Sol), the situation is still in the green, similar to the Canary Islands.
In Germany, this reference value is currently at a comparatively low eight cases. For all of Spain, meanwhile, this risk figure is located at 58 cases per 100.000 inhabitants already in the critical range. No other European country is currently registering so many new infections: According to the Spanish Ministry of Health, around 4000 new cases are currently being added every day.
Spain has learned nothing from the first Corona wave
Why does the situation in Spain, which was already hit harder than most neighboring countries by the first wave of Corona in the spring, now look so bad again?? According to Spanish health experts, this is mainly due to the deficiencies of the state health system, which have not been corrected in recent weeks.
Consequently, there is still a lack of testing capacity. And especially at followers, which could identify contact persons of Corona patients. It seems therefore completely in such a way, as if Spain did not learn its lesson from the first virus attack in the spring