German tourists are set to flood Spain’s Balearic Islands over the Easter holiday period after the German government removed them from the governments ‘no go’ list causing anger in Spain where locals are still locked down.
German airlines reported skyrocketing bookings after the German government announced today (16 March ) that citizens would be free to travel to and from the islands without having to take a COVID-19 test or self-isolate when returning to Germany.
The announcement came at the same time as the Robert Koch Institute for Infectious Diseases (RKI) warned the German government that the country is suffering from an exponential growth in COVID-19 cases which have increased by 20 percent in the last week.
The RKI added to its statement calling on the government to tighten restrictions in the country calling for at least a ‘partial lockdown’.
The German government also removed several other tourist hotspots from the red list including Valencia, Extremadura, La Rioja, Castilla-La Mancha and Murcia.
Although the tourists will be allowed to return to Germany without having to do a PCR test they will be required to provide a negative test when entering Spain.
The German airline Lufthansa announced that will double the number of flights to and from the island over the Easter break after it saw reservations to the island of Mallorca increase by 80 percent.
The airline specified that it intends to fly 20 times a week from Frankfurt to Mallorca as opposed to the current six during the Easter break.
Eurowings, the budget airline owned by Lufthansa, has announced that it will run 325 weekly flights to the islands from its 24 airports located in Germany and the United Kingdom.
The announcement has been received positively by Germans looking to hit the beach during their holidays and airlines that have been struggling since the beginning of the pandemic last year.
However, the issue has become contentious within Spain itself where locals will not be allowed to leave their counties let alone the country during the Easter break.
Netizens reacted to the announcement with a mix of anger and confusion.
Netizen ‘observer1978’ commented: ” Spanish nationals get treated like criminals locked in their counties while foreigners can come and go as they please. Does anyone understand this?”
While ‘sephyrot’ responded: “I’m p*ssed off that I can’t visit the Balearic Islands during the Easter break whilst foreigners can. It makes no sense.”
The German government added to the announcement clarifying that although travelling to these parts of Spain is now legal it still recommends that Germans only travel if absolutely necessary.
COVID-19 cases in the Balearic Islands have been dropping steadily recently with John Hopkins Univerisity reporting that there are only 50 positive cases of COVID-19 for every 100.000 habitants whereas in overall Spain there are 131.