Berlin/Madrid (dpa) – In Spain, the federal government’s decision to classify the entire country as a risk area from Sunday did not cause particularly high waves.
Media coverage was limited, the government criticized the fixation on the level of new infections and representatives of the tourism sector expressed optimism. In Barcelona there was even a music festival for three days with up to 18,000 spectators every day. With test and mask requirement, but without distance.
The number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants recently rose to 199 within seven days. That is about 35 times higher than in Germany at the moment. If this seven-day incidence exceeds the 200 mark over a longer period of time, Berlin could also declare the most popular holiday destination for Germans to be an area of high incidence. Then many returnees will face quarantine – and serious damage to the already battered Spanish tourist industry.
But nobody wants to imagine that yet. The Spanish Minister of Tourism María Reyes Maroto also asked whether orientation on the number of infections was still the right way. The incidence as a risk measure is becoming less important given the high vaccination coverage and the low number of corona patients in hospitals, according to the minister. Spain is ahead of Germany in the number of fully vaccinated people and the death rate is lower.
The high numbers of infections are mainly recorded in young people who developed no or only mild symptoms of the disease. The authorities are closely monitoring the situation. Holidays in Spain are certainly safe.
The head of the regional government of the Balearic Islands, Francina Armengol, also pointed to the good progress of the vaccination campaign. “We have to learn to live with the disease. It’s time to think about other things than just the incidence,” she emphasized. German holidaymakers in Mallorca also emphasized that they felt at least as safe on holiday there as at home in Germany.
The German Travel Association (DRV), which represents the tour operator, also reacted calmly. «For air travelers, Spain’s classification as a simple risk area doesn’t really change anything. Travelers can continue their holiday,” said DRV spokeswoman Kerstin Heinen of the German news agency. She called on all travelers to adhere to the hygiene and distance rules during their holiday. “This also makes responsible mobility possible in times of Corona.”
The president of the Association of Hotel Managers in the Balearic Islands (AEDH), Alicia Reina, made a similar statement. From their point of view, it would be very bad for Germany to declare Spain and the Balearic Islands a high-incidence area. Cyprus shows how quickly such an upgrade can come. The country was only declared a risk area last Sunday. Just a few days later, it became one of the four high-incidence areas in Europe, alongside Portugal, Great Britain and Russia.