Only for the Canary Islands, the Foreign Office can not recognize an increased corona risk. In Spain, one is little edified about German categorizations.
TUI has already taken Mallorca out of the offer Photo: unsplash/Courtney Moore
The news hit Spain like a bomb late Friday afternoon. "Warnings are currently being issued against non-essential, tourist travel to Spain, with the exception of the Canary Islands, due to high infection rates," has since been posted on the website of the German Foreign Office.
It came, what had to come. Saturday morning first tourism enterprises cancelled package tours to Spain. TUI, for example, is taking Mallorca out of its offer. Who wants, can rebook on the Canaries. Those who are already on the island can fly home earlier. This means that the Spanish tourism industry, which in normal times accounts for 12 percent of GDP and employs around 2.5 million people, is losing its second important market. Since the end of July, Britons have had to enter a two-week quarantine after traveling to Spain. In the meantime, virtually no one travels from Great Britain to Spain.
The most important criterion for classifying a region or an entire country as a risk area is the number of new infections in the past seven days. According to the German Robert Koch Institute, wherever more than 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants are registered, there is an increased risk of infection. The German Foreign Office concurs. For all of Spain, the Ministry of Health in Madrid gives the number on Friday with 58. On the Balearic Islands it is even at 77. On the Canary Islands, however, only 24.
Since the opening of Spain after one of the world’s toughest lockdowns at the end of June, new infections have been rising steadily. Meanwhile, there are again 3,000 new covid cases per day. Last week, 62 people with the disease died. This brings the death toll to 28,617 so far. A total of 342,000 Covid cases have been confirmed so far.
In many areas of the country, the German travel warning and British quarantine regulations are seen as unfair and excessive. "Aragón has 33 counties, in 30 of which the situation is absolutely normal," explains, for example, Javier Lamban, head of government in the northern Spanish region with Zaragoza as its capital.
Aragón is the Spanish leader with 250 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the last seven days. However, cases are concentrated in Zaragoza and in orchards in two counties in the southeast of the region. Domestic and foreign tourists tend to be drawn to the Pyrenees. And there are hardly any cases there. "It continues to be a safe and trustworthy destination," Lamban therefore explains.
In the meantime, Madrid’s central government and the regions are taking new measures. Clubs and discos, for example, have been closed again, and the general closing time has been brought forward. In addition, smoking in public is now only permitted if a minimum distance of two meters can be maintained.
Spain’s biggest problem, however, is its healthcare system. In many places, there is a lack of personnel to follow up on the contacts of those who have fallen ill and also to check them for covid. This is the case in the region around Madrid, for example. The infection rate there is probably much higher than ,000 inhabitants, as officially stated. According to the experts, Madrid would need at least 1,000 additional contact tracers.