On the one hand there is Corona. On the other, people want to hit the beaches in summer. Does the vacation trip in the second Corona summer have to be cancelled?
Berlin, February 25th, 2021 (The Berlin Spectator) — The summer is approaching, and with it the question whether those sun loungers in Bordeaux, Virginia Beach, Dubrovnik, Khao Lak or Zanzibar will be occupied or not. Will people travel to all of those resorts, have Caipirinha and have their backs lotioned up?
Will German tourist invade Mallorca, their favorite destination, again? Last year, the summer vacation story became a disaster. In 2020, the German government made international trips to Spanish islands and elsewhere possible. On site, most vacationers forgot the Corona rules. Then, the minute everyone was back home, the infection numbers exploded.
What would be needed to make beach vacations and other trips possible, in spite of Corona? This is a question government politicians in Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, Vienna and Madrid are discussing. The same applies to leading E.U. politicians. At today’s E.U. summit, the subject will likely be discussed, even though it is not part of the official agenda. But the Corona vaccinations are.
Hardly anyone is disputing that vaccinations are the key. Putting 200 vaccinated Europeans on an Airbus A320 and flying them to Ibiza is easy, as long as they are either vaccinated or tested. Tested? Yes, it looks like there will have to be a combination of vaccinated tourists and those who got tested, because the European vaccination campaigns are not quite as quick as the one in Israel, where 70 percent of all inhabitants have already been vaccinated against Corona.
Israelis who were vaccinated have green vaccination certificates. Those can be used for medical purposes, or to prove a person is good to go when it comes to summer vacation trips, but also cinemas, clubs or restaurants. But, for now, this is the theory only.
Printed vaccination certificates can be forged. Holders can get infected with Corona on the way to the airport. What vaccinated individuals are concerned: They might still spread Corona. The question whether this is the case or not has not been established. A first test in Israel looked promising though.
It looks like Europe will need a way to certify Corona vaccinations digitally. This is an important aspect, for summer vacation trips and international travel in general, but also for everyday life in people’s home countries. The European Union urgently needs a green vaccination certification card or something similar. Will the E.U. make it happen? Will steps be taken in that direction at the E.U. summit?
Germany’s Tourism Commissioner Thomas Bareiss (original spelling with German letter ‘ß’) has high expectations. He just told the ‘Bild’ tabloid, he believed that summer vacations abroad would be possible without problems this year. Bareiss said he hoped most Germans would be vaccinated by the summer. To some, this sounded overly optimistic, also because the ‘speed’ of Europe’s vaccination campaigns.
But, whatever happens, there is a place people will be able to go to. It provides a lot of sunshine, stunning views and good air. It is called balcony.
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