Passengers at Alexanderplatz in Berlín. | CLEMENS BILAN


German nationals are unlikely to able to vacation abroad this summer because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Government says there will be plenty of opportunities for stay-cations.

"It came to our notice that everything points to a home vacation program, I think that's all that will be possible this summer,” said Thomas Bareiss, Head of Tourism at the German Ministry of Industry.

He also pointed out that extreme precautions must also be taken with domestic tourism, with regard to social distancing and the use of disinfectants.

The German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas said a few days ago that "holidays as usual" are unlikely to happen this summer because of the movement restrictions.

Minister Maas also mentioned the complexity of repatriating some 230,000 German citizens who were stranded in different parts of the world as borders began to close and flights that were suspended due to the spread of the pandemic and pointed out that hastily reactivating tourism would be a bad move.

"A race in Europe to see who allows tourist travel first leads to risks we cannot afford," he said.

He also alluded to the contagions that occurred at the Austrian ski resort of Ischgl, which are considered one of the factors that accelerated the growth of the pandemic in several European countries. Austria is preparing to gradually open its borders with Germany and the Czech Republic to tourists.

Germany is the fifth country in the world most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic after the United States, Spain, Italy and France.

On Monday, the Robert Koch Institute reported 155,193 infections 5,750 deaths and that 114,500 patients have fully recovered from the disease in Germany.

But the Johns Hopkings University in the US claims the German figures are much higher and that there are 158,142 infections and 5,985 fatalities.

Germany has applied less restrictive coronavirus measures than other countries and has managed to smooth the growth curve of the epidemic, without saturating the health system.

After the recent relaxation of some restrictions, the country's leading Virologists and Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that lowering the guard could result in possible relapses or a second wave of contagion.