Germany gives a new breather to the Spanish tourism sector, even if it is for the final part of the high summer season. According to a report by the Robert Koch Institute, responsible for the control and prevention of diseases in the country, Berlin will remove the entire Spanish territory from the list of countries at high risk for coronavirus as of this Sunday (they were already off the list Asturias, Castilla-La Mancha, Catalonia, Valencian Community and the Canary Islands). Chile and the Portuguese region of Lisbon will also benefit from the modification.
This, in practice, does not entail changes in the mobility limitations for tourists residing in Germany (it only exempts travelers from filling in the form on-line in which they had to report where they were going to stay). But it does boost Spain’s reputation as a safe country. That is, passengers who return to the country will comply with the same measures as up to now: they must present a vaccination certificate, if they have recovered from the disease or a negative test – or keep quarantine. What does change is the image of the country and the perception that there is no risk.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, has celebrated the decision through his Twitter account for what it means for the travel sector: “From next Sunday Germany removes our entire country from the list of countries high-risk. Excellent news that gives confidence and shows that Spain is a safe destination ”.
According to the agency, high-risk areas are areas where the cumulative incidence “considerably exceeds” 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last seven days, which is the measure used in Germany, or where “a high risk of infection is assumed for coronavirus ”, according to the reports published by the institute each week.
Germany is the second most important market for Spanish tourism, only behind the United Kingdom. It was at the beginning of July when he included the entire Spanish territory in this dreaded list. Then it did so due to the expansion of the delta variant, which greatly concerned Angela Merkel’s government due to its explosion in areas of Portugal and Spain. A week ago it already took out some communities, which was an oxygen balloon for destinations such as the Canary Islands, especially thinking about winter when the archipelago has its high season. And now confirm this relaxation for the entire territory.
“Since Germany put the Canary Islands on the green traffic light, we have received a flood of reservations,” say sources from the Riu hotel company. Like Meliá spokesmen, who influence this change in trend: “Our expectations for the final part of the summer are positive, given that Germany has recently eliminated the Canary Islands from the high-risk area and is one of the main nationalities in our hotels ”. Therefore, now that the entire territory benefits from this relaxation, the sector expects a rebound in the final part of the summer and for the arrival of foreign travelers to reactivate, which is still at half of the 2019 records.
In this way, Spain shelves a situation that put the recovery of tourism at risk at the beginning of the summer. The risk that existed in July was that this tightening was only the previous step before the most severe restrictions. If it had happened (if mandatory quarantine had been required for those not vaccinated with a full schedule on their return to Germany) it would have given the last straw to a suffocated sector. But the trend has changed and the sector already sees the light at the end of the tunnel.