NewsVacation in the pandemic: Despite Corona, you can do...

Vacation in the pandemic: Despite Corona, you can do that in Spain, Italy, France and Co.

The number of corona cases is falling abroad – the desire for vacation is increasing. What is the situation like in the favorite holiday countries? And what do you have to pay attention to?

Berlin – Many Germans are longing to travel abroad again after a long corona dreariness and vacation lull. Given the recent developments in the pandemic, the prospects for it also seem to be getting better and better. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) is confident.

“We can hope that life will soon return to normal if the number of infections continues to fall and the vaccination campaign makes progress,” Maas told the newspapers of the Funke media group. He then expects a life “in more normal circumstances” again, says Maas. “And that includes summer vacation.” This could also apply to non-vaccinated people. But what about abroad at the moment? What is allowed, what is not? An overview of the Germans’ favorite vacation destinations.

Spain: Corona situation is improving

In Spain, the corona situation has been improving for weeks. The six-month emergency ended on Sunday (May 9th, 2021). The incidence of infections is significantly lower than in Germany. In some holiday regions such as Valencia or the Balearic Islands with Mallorca, the situation is even more relaxed. After the end of the emergency, however, it is unclear which measures should continue to apply. In the Canary Islands, for example, the Supreme Court forbade the continuation of a night curfew, while the highest court in Mallorca confirmed this measure. The mask requirement also applies outdoors almost everywhere.

Menschen sonnen sich am Strand von Arenal. Spanien steht an der Spitze der deutschen Urlaubsziele.


People sunbathe on Arenal Beach. Spain is at the top of the German holiday destinations.

Entry is possible from all EU countries. However, the obligation to test for entry from a risk area from abroad still exists. Due to the relatively high number of corona infections, Berlin is still warning against unnecessary tourist trips to some regions of Spain, including Madrid, Catalonia or the Basque Country. Around 30 percent of the 47 million Spaniards have received at least one dose of vaccine, a good 13 percent have received both. There are not yet any privileges for those who have been vaccinated or recovered in Spain.

Italy: Mediterranean country relaxes the corona rules

The Mediterranean country Italy is still on an easing course. In the cities, there has been a good atmosphere at the outdoor tables in front of bars and restaurants for a long time. There is no longer any region in Italy in the red zone with the strictest corona restrictions. In most of the country, the restaurants are allowed to serve their guests at tables outside at noon and in the evening until 10 p.m. After that, the night curfew will apply everywhere – according to plans from Rome, it should start a little later soon. Museums, cinemas and theaters are open in the so-called yellow zones. However, it is mandatory to wear a mask everywhere, including outside.

The next changes are expected from Saturday (May 15th, 2021). The five-day quarantine for EU citizens could be eliminated in the middle of the month. If you want to enter, you have to show a negative test or be vaccinated against Corona. Italy is aiming for June 2nd as the official start of the summer season. The numbers have recently fallen. A good 30 percent of the population have been vaccinated against corona at least once.

Turkey: New corona infections remain at a high level

A corona lockdown will still apply in Turkey until May 17: Only shops for daily needs are open, people are only allowed to go outside for important errands. Tourists are exempt from these exit restrictions and can move freely.

Noch nichts los in Istanbul: Bis zum 17. Mai ist die Türkei im Corona-Lockdown.


Nothing going on in Istanbul yet: Turkey is in corona lockdown until May 17th.

The number of new corona infections in the country every day remains at a high level. In the tourist provinces of Antalya and Mugla, the seven-day incidence in the past few weeks was around 130 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, in Izmir it was just under 162. Around 17 percent of the population have received at least one dose of vaccine so far, employees in the Tourism sectors are vaccinated preferentially. When entering Turkey from Germany, a negative PCR test must be presented, which must not be older than 72 hours.

Austria: Many people are already vaccinated against Corona

Thanks to the falling number of corona infections, restaurants, hotels, stages and sports facilities will open in Austria on May 19. A new increase in Covid-19 cases should be prevented with access tests, guest registrations and distance rules. More than a third of the population: those aged 16 and over have already received the first dose of vaccine.

Travelers from Germany and other countries with a low corona risk can enter without quarantine from May 19. Vaccinated, tested and recovered from Covid-19 are allowed into the country. The so-called Drei Gs are also the entry ticket for restaurants, hotels and events. Although the seven-day incidence in Austria is lower than in Germany, testing and quarantine are necessary when returning to Germany. However, Bavaria and Austria agreed to allow people to cross the border again this week for private visits or shopping without quarantine.

Greece: The tourism season starts despite Corona

The official starting signal for the tourism season will be given in Greece on Saturday (May 15th, 2021). The date goes hand in hand with further easing – so from now on people are again allowed to travel freely within the country, something that Greeks and foreigners were previously forbidden for months. Cafés, bars and taverns have already opened their outdoor areas, but there is still a no-night exit from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.

However, the number of corona infections in the country with its around 11 million inhabitants is falling steadily. Most of the residents, especially on the tourist islands, have already been vaccinated. Visitors must register before entering the country and show their full vaccination protection (14 days after the second vaccination appointment) or a PCR test that is not more than 72 hours old. There is no longer an obligation to quarantine.

France: Corona curfew still applies

Travel within France is now possible again. Even without a valid reason, people are allowed to move more than ten kilometers away from their homes. However, there is still a nightly curfew from 7 p.m. There should be more freedom from next Wednesday (May 19th, 2021). Museums, cinemas and shops can then reopen under certain conditions, as can the popular outdoor areas of restaurants. The curfew should then apply from 9 p.m.

People who want to come to France from Europe must present a negative PCR test upon entry. The proof must not be older than 72 hours. In addition, a declaration must be completed in which travelers assure, for example, that they have no corona symptoms. There are no privileges for vaccinated people in Germany’s neighboring country.

Croatia: restaurants open under corona conditions

The popular holiday destination Croatia is getting ready for the new season. A large number of hotels and private accommodation are already available on the booking platforms. Fully vaccinated, recovered and currently tested people can go on vacation in Croatia. They have to prove their status when crossing the border. In the country itself there are no other privileges for vaccinated people.

Restaurants may only receive guests outside, subject to certain conditions. It is compulsory to wear a mask in public indoor areas and outside wherever a distance of 1.5 meters cannot be maintained. Further corona easing could come into effect on May 15. So far, 22.6 percent of the population has received at least one primary vaccination.

Poland: Corona rules are gradually being relaxed

The German neighbor Poland gradually relaxed in May. Shopping centers, hotels, museums and art galleries are allowed to open under certain conditions. From May 15th, outdoor areas of restaurants should be allowed to receive guests again, indoor areas will remain closed until the end of May. The requirement to wear a mask outdoors will then also no longer apply, indoors and on buses and trains, for example. A good 14 million people in the 38 million country have received at least one vaccination dose. About 10 percent have the complete corona vaccination protection.

Einreise aus Polen


In Poland, the corona rules are gradually being relaxed.

When entering from Germany and other EU countries, a quarantine period of ten days applies. This does not apply to travelers who present a negative corona test on entry that is not older than 48 hours. Even those who have been fully vaccinated and those who have been proven to have recovered are exempt from the quarantine.

Netherlands: Corona infection numbers are still high

At the end of April, the first measures since the strict lockdown were relaxed – despite the persistently high corona numbers. The curfew has been abolished, shops can receive customers again and restaurants serve guests – subject to conditions and only outside from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. All events with an audience are still prohibited. Museums, cinemas and theaters remain closed. The second step of opening is now imminent from May 19, for restaurants, prostitutes and fitness studios, for example. The condition is that the number of patients in hospitals decrease significantly. However, the number of infections is only slowly falling. Of people aged 18 and over, around 40 percent have received at least one dose of vaccine.

The Netherlands strongly discourages foreign visitors from going on holiday. If you still want to come, you have to show a negative corona test and go into quarantine for ten days. If a second test is negative again, the quarantine ends. Vaccinated people have no privileges.

Portugal: From Corona hotspot to model student

The former corona hotspot has the lowest infection levels in Europe after Iceland. The state of emergency to contain the pandemic ended on May 1 after about five and a half months. Restaurants, cafés and bars as well as cinemas, theaters and other cultural and leisure facilities have since been allowed to stay open until 10.30 p.m. on weekends.

Unnecessary tourist trips from countries with a 14-day incidence over 150 are still not permitted. In the country with 10.3 million inhabitants, around four million vaccine doses have already been administered, around eleven percent of all citizens are completely vaccinated. However, there are still no advantages for those who have been vaccinated or recovered in Portugal. (tvd / dpa)

Rubric: © Clara Margais / dpa

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