Party holidays are off the cards this summer says German Health Minister

2 June 2020, 17:57

By Seán Hickey

As mainland Europe begins to open up collectively from lockdown, the dynamics of tourism will be changed this summer.

Jens Spahn is the German Federal Health Minister and he joined Eddie Mair to discuss the country's response to coronavirus and the response of Europe as a whole, as restrictions ease across the continent.

Eddie was curious about the German approach to travel and tourism in Europe, but particularly for Germans. "What's going to happen to travel, people wanting to get out of Germany, people wanting to get in to Germany" he asked.

Mr Spahn began by saying that it is important that the continent takes a unilateral approach to how cross border travel is carried out post-lockdown and added that "we are more or less in the same status now, or at least we will be" in the next few weeks.

"Germany is in the middle of the continent with many borders" he said and told listeners that "it's a very important issue for us to have freedom of movement again and for all our neighbouring countries." Mr Spahn's reason for this was the massive cross-border employment market in mainland Europe that has been thrown into disarray as countries closed to outsiders during the pandemic.

The German Federal Health Minister could foresee a change in how we holiday
The German Federal Health Minister could foresee a change in how we holiday. Picture: PA

Mr Spahn's suggestions of a pan-European standard for travel became clear when he added that "when it comes to tourism, we need a common standard." He pointed out that English and German tourists share the same taste in holiday resorts generally but shared a fear he has for whether it will be possible for people to go to their usual holiday destination this year.

The German Federal Health Minister referenced resort destinations such as Majorca as a place that may be hit hard because of a lack of tourism this year.

"Palma or Magaluf as we know it is for sure not possible this Summer" he warned. Mr Spahn said that the nature of these party holidays makes it very unlikely for social distancing to be carried out.

He said heavy drinking and nightclubs make ideal conditions for the spread of the coronavirus. "That is what we need to avoid for this tourism season" Mr Spahn feared.

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