During an interview on ZDF's Morgenmagazin show, Maas said that he believed holidays in Europe would be possible this summer for people in Germany – but with restrictions.
“Holidays this year will not be like the ones we know from the past,” Maas said.
During another interview on ARD's Report from Berlin on Sunday, the Foreign Minister also advocated the lifting of quarantine rules within the EU.
It would mean only people entering from non-EU countries would have to do a two-week mandatory quarantine when arriving in Germany in future.
He said the pandemic had not yet been beaten, and that safety precautions would have to be taken in case the number of infections spiked again.
However, he said there were “many positive developments”, including some countries announcing they will open their borders from June or July.
Maas to discuss travel restrictions with EU colleagues
Maas also pointed out that there would be restrictions in place in all popular holiday destinations due to the pandemic.
On Monday, Maas was set to hold a video conference with his counterparts from Spain, Italy, Austria, Greece, Croatia, Portugal, Malta, Slovenia, Cyprus and Bulgaria to discuss easing restrictions.
Heiko Maas wearing a face mask on a Luftwaffe aircraft on May 16th. Photo: DPA
Among other things, the ministers want to talk about entry regulations, quarantine rules and cooperation between health authorities, said Maas.
The goal, he said, is to drop the worldwide travel warning, which currently applies in Germany, and turn it into travel advice as of June 15th. This would allow people to judge for themselves on where – and whether – to visit a country on holiday.
The advice would answer questions such as where you can go, if travel is justifiable or allowed there, and what regulations apply, said Maas.
Everyone must then decide for themselves “whether they want to go there on holiday, given the restrictions that will be imposed everywhere”, said Maas.
However, some people are concerned about Germans travelling outside the country and instead want to promote domestic tourism.
Markus Söder, leader of the centre-right Christian Social Union (CSU) in Bavaria, said he was more cautious about holidays in European countries this summer.
The debate on summer holidays during the crisis must be about “how to promote holidays in Germany in particular”, Söder said before a CSU board meeting in Munich. This could be achieved, for example, through tax deductions or holiday vouchers.
Travel warning – (die) Reisewarnung
Safety precautions/measures – (die) Sicherheitsvorkehrungen
Quarantine regulations – (die) Quarantänebestimmungen
Popular holiday destinations – (die) beliebten Ferienländer
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