From spring 2021, all seven Tui ships are to sail again +++ Day tourists are allowed to visit Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania again Foreign Office warns of traveling to all of Spain – including the Canary Islands  The most important travel news about the corona virus in the star ticker.

The global spread of the coronavirus  and government measures such as border closings are hugely restricting personal mobility and thus travel. The Federal Foreign Office has also issued a travel warning for tourist trips because of the pandemic. Here you will regularly find the latest news on the subject of the corona crisis and travel.

Free corona tests for vacationers from non-risk areas are ending

The options for free corona tests for all those returning to Germany will be limited at the end of the holiday season. Travelers who do not come from a risk area with high numbers of infections will no longer be entitled to free tests from this Tuesday. Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) said on Monday: “For the vacation time, it was important to test all travelers for the corona virus. With a view to autumn and winter, we are now concentrating the tests more on the domestic market.”

The federal government regularly determines which countries are considered risk areas for German holidaymakers – they are listed on the website of the federally owned Robert Koch Institute (RKI). The federal and state governments agreed on the changes to the tests at the end of August. “For those arriving from risk areas, the test obligation and the requirement of quarantine until negative test results continue to apply for the time being,” said Spahn. Tests for them remain free for the time being. The quarantine rules for returnees from risk areas should be changed after a decision by the federal and state governments – if possible by October 1st. The obligation to quarantine for 14 days should therefore be waived at the earliest with a test from the fifth day after return.

From spring 2021, all seven Tui ships are to run again

After the slow restart, the cruise operator Tui Cruises wants to offer trips on all ships in its fleet again from spring. “We hope to be on the road again with all seven ships by spring 2021 at the latest, with a little less occupancy and the right health concepts,” said company boss Wybcke Meier of the newspaper “Welt am Sonntag”.

After cruises came to a standstill due to the corona pandemic, Tui Cruises had parked almost its entire fleet in the North Sea. Since the end of June this year, the company has been offering trips to the North and Baltic Seas again. This weekend another ship in Greece is supposed to take on guests again. Tui operates the ships “Mein Schiff” with the numbers one to six and the “Mein Schiff Herz”. “As far as the finances are concerned, we have done our homework and will therefore survive this phase with fewer ships and less utilization,” said Meier. Around 60 percent of all employees are still on short-time work.

Day tourists can visit Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania again

From this weekend on, day tourists can come back to Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Because of the corona pandemic, guests from the surrounding federal states have mostly not been welcome since mid-March. Such trips were considered illegal and could be fined up to 2000 euros.

It is estimated that companies in the country are losing three to five million euros in turnover per day due to a lack of day-trippers. From the point of view of the state government, the restrictions were an effective tool to slow down the spread of the corona virus. “Thousands of day tourists were already in the country,” said the President of Dehoga Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lars Schwarz. Therefore, the withdrawal of the ban was a long overdue step, which the hospitality industry has long been calling for.

 Foreign Office warns against traveling to all of Spain

Due to the corona pandemic, the Federal Foreign Office has now also issued a travel warning for the Canary Islands, which are popular with German holidaymakers. The federal government is now warning of “unnecessary, tourist” trips to all parts of Spain. “Spain was and is severely affected by COVID-19,” the Federal Foreign Office explains the decision on the website . In the Canaries, the islands of Gran Canaria and Tenerife are particularly affected.

So far, the Foreign Office had already warned against traveling to mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands with the popular holiday island of Mallorca. Now this also applies to the Canaries. Returnees must take a free corona test and go into quarantine until the result is negative.

As the Foreign Office further announced, the regions of Cantabria, Castile and Léon, La Rioja, Navarra, the Basque Country, the capital region of Madrid and the capital of the Balearic Islands, Palma de Mallorca, are currently affected by the virus. There are therefore strict exit restrictions throughout the country. Discos and night bars are completely closed, restaurants are open until 1 a.m. at the latest.

Hamburg fish market should open in October, but only at noon instead of early in the morning

The Hamburg fish market was closed for five months due to the Corona crisis – now the traditional market is set to reopen in October. This is at least a concept that the Altona district has developed together with the health authority. Fish, fruit and vegetables should no longer be sold early in the morning as usual, but instead on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Since mid-March, tourists and Hamburg residents have had to do without the 300-year-old Hamburg fish market due to the corona pandemic. Usually around 120 market stalls are set up there. Many night owls went straight to the fish market after an evening in the Kiez. This possibility should no longer exist because the authority feared that the corona rules among the partygoers would not always be observed.

The new protection concept provides for a maximum of 500 visitors and 60 dealers. The site is to be fenced off with separate entrances and exits and one-way streets. At the start, 20 security guards should regulate the entry and ensure that the distance rules are observed.

+++ Almost 200 passengers have to be in quarantine after their vacation flight +++

After a flight from a Greek island to Great Britain, all approximately 200 passengers and crew members were sent to a two-week quarantine. 16 guests of the vacation plane have already tested positive, the broadcaster BBC reported. According to British health experts, seven of them were most likely already contagious on board.

On the flight from the island of Zakynthos to Cardiff (Wales) on August 25, a number of passengers are said to have ignored the corona protective measures. Many would not have worn masks as prescribed; the crew hardly intervened, it was said. The machine was full of “selfish Cov-idiots”, said a woman on the BBC, alluding to the disease Covid-19. The allegations will be followed up closely, the broadcaster quoted a spokesman for the travel company Tui. Many young British people in Greece have a reputation for being partying and drinking a lot of alcohol.


News from Friday, August 28th

+++ Record of new infections: Canaries tremble for special corona position +++

A new record of new infections has been registered in the Canary Islands. The regional health authorities reported 338 new cases within 24 hours on Thursday evening. That’s the highest number since the pandemic broke out in March. The Atlantic islands belonging to Spain must now fear losing their special position and, like the whole country – including the Balearic Islands – being put on the list of risk areas by Germany.

 The associated travel warning would give the already badly ailing tourism industry, which accounts for around 35 percent of regional income, the “death knell”, as the media warned on Friday. The central criterion for classification as a risk area is in which states or regions there have been more than 50 newly infected people per 100,000 inhabitants in the past seven days. In the Canaries there are already 79.69. This means that the islands off the west coast of Africa are now in a worse position than many Spanish regions, for which the Foreign Office’s travel warning has been in effect since mid-August. In the Balearic Islands with the Germans’ favorite island, Mallorca, this number is 79.52.

+++ Cunard shipping company cancels all cruises until the end of March 2021 +++

The British Cunard shipping company has informed the customers of its three cruise ships long-term: The “Queen Elizabeth” will then be idle up to and including March 25, 2021, for the flagship “Queen Mary 2” all voyages are suspended up to and including April 18, 2021, and the “Queen Victoria” will only resume service after May 16, 2021.

“In view of the current recommendations of the Foreign Office and the Foreign Ministry of the United Kingdom as well as the great complexity that the global cruise operation brings with it during the Covid-19 pandemic, the traditional shipping company Cunard is extending the operating break beyond November 2020,” it said in a Tuesday published press release. The 180-year-old traditional shipping company, which is now part of the Carnival Corporation, the largest cruise company in the world, is the first large company in the industry to clearly communicate a one-year forced break due to the corona pandemic.

+++ Due to missing ticket refunds: Lufthansa and Ryanair lose in court +++

Since many airlines do not reimburse tickets after requests for payment, the Flightright portal filed lawsuits in the spring. The first judgments have now been passed on the proceedings against Lufthansa and Ryanair. There are now more than 20 judgments against Lufthansa, e.g. B. in front of the AG Erding (Az. 15 C 2780/20). The judgments are so-called acknowledgment judgments. This means that the airline did not defend itself on the matter and recognized the claims.

Ryanair defended itself in a number of proceedings and argued in court that their declaration of intent to pay at some point in the future was sufficient and therefore no legal action was necessary. The courts (AG Nürnberg Az. 19 C 3826/20) gave this argument a clear rejection, since easing payments or postponing payments are not justified because of the corona pandemic and Ryanair should have made the reimbursement clearly within the one-week period.

In more than 900 cases so far, Flightright has filed lawsuits against various airlines. Most of the time, the airlines paid immediately after the lawsuit was filed or after a judgment of recognition or court rulings. At many other airlines, Flightright is now seeing a rethink when it comes to reimbursement payments. These airlines include EasyJet, TUIfly, Singapore Airlines, Condor and Eurowings.

Family has to cancel the cruise after violating Corona rules

Because she is said to have violated the corona rules of the cruise operator MSC Cruises, an Italian family had to cancel a Mediterranean cruise. Contrary to the express guidelines, the family separated from their group during a day trip to the island of Capri, the shipping company announced on Thursday. She was therefore no longer allowed on board the “MSC Grandiosa”.

MSC Cruises was the first major shipping company to resume cruises on the Mediterranean after the corona-related break. The “MSC Grandiosa” started on Sunday with 70 percent of the passenger capacity in the port of Genoa on a seven-day cruise. With the lower capacity utilization and other corona measures, the shipping company wants to reduce the risk of infections on board.

Health authorities had repeatedly criticized the cruise industry for reacting too slowly to the spread of the virus. According to the Johns Hopkins University in the United States, 3,047 infections were found on board 48 cruise lines belonging to the International Cruise Association (Clia) during the course of the pandemic. The infections resulted in death in 73 cases.

Greece tightens corona restrictions for tourists 

After the increased number of corona infections, the Greek government has also ordered restrictions for the holiday region of the Chalkidiki peninsula and the jet set island of Mykonos. Celebrations, parties, religious celebrations and weekly markets are prohibited from this Friday until August 31st. In addition, gatherings of more than nine people are prohibited. All bars and taverns must close at midnight.

Measured against its population of a good 10.5 million people, Greece has a low number of infections with the coronavirus. In the past few days, however, the number of infected people had risen suddenly. The reason is that many vacationers – mostly young people – have infected relatives and friends in the metropolitan areas after their return from vacation.

Denmark creates the six-day rule for travelers from 

When entering Denmark, tourists no longer need to prove that they have booked at least six nights in the country. After hours of negotiations, the government and parliamentary parties agreed on Friday to abolish the controversial six-day rule.

Denmark had taken strict measures at the beginning of the corona crisis in March and thus got the spread of the corona virus under control comparatively quickly. For a few weeks now, the number of cases of infection has been increasing again, among other things due to local outbreaks in the second largest city of Aarhus and at a slaughterhouse in Ringsted.

The cruise ship “MSC Grandiosa” sets sail for the first time since Corona

For the cruise industry in the Mediterranean, hit by the corona pandemic, it’s time to “cast off” again: the “MSC Grandiosa” set sail in northern Italy on Sunday evening. The ship, which belongs to the shipping company “MSC Cruises”, left the port of Genoa shortly after 7.30 pm with 2500 passengers on board. In the next seven days, it should call at several ports in the Mediterranean.

The cruise ship, which can normally take up to 6000 passengers, first sets course for the port of Civitavecchia near Rome. Then it should go on to Naples, Palermo (Sicily) and Valletta (Malta). The cruise industry is under particular pressure in the wake of the ongoing Corona crisis. Competitive shipping companies from “MSC Cruises” decided to only offer cruises again in September to be on the safe side.

“MSC Cruises” wants to prevent the virus from spreading on the “MSC Grandiosa” with new security standards. Passengers and crew members were tested for the coronavirus in the terminal on the Sunday before boarding and their body temperature is to be checked daily. There will no longer be an open buffet – instead there will be service at the table.

Emily Wong

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