Corona virus: stranded abroad – DER SPIEGEL


Those who are still at home should cancel or postpone their vacation – that is the request of the Federal Government, which advises against all unnecessary trips abroad. “The risk that you can no longer start your return journey due to the increasing restrictions is currently high in many destinations,” said Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) on Twitter.
And that is exactly what is currently bothering many Germans who are already abroad – whether on vacation, on long stays or on business trips. In normal times, holidaymakers who have problems with flights or with involuntarily extended stays should contact them Airlines, tour operators or railway companies. In emergencies also to the German consulates in the respective countries. However, companies and authorities are currently under heavy strain. Lufthansa or TUI For example, on their websites indicate long waiting times on the phone or are no longer reachable by phone.
In addition to air and travel disabilities, there would be quarantine measures and restrictions on public life in many countries, according to the Federal Foreign Office on its website. Changes to the entry and quarantine regulations would sometimes take place without prior notice and with immediate effect. These constant innovations also cause problems for authorities and tourism companies.

Travelers are stranded at many airports, and in many places there are hardly any flights abroad. For example, Lufthansa is massively reducing its flight schedule due to the entry stops from more and more countries. As of Tuesday, only 10 percent of long-haul flights and 20 percent of flights in Europe would take off, the airline said. The subsidiary Austrian Airline completely stops all flights on Wednesday night.

It comes to Quarantine measuresAccording to the Federal Foreign Office, one should not expect a return by the organizer or the federal government, but rather follow the instructions of the local health authorities. In particular Cruise passengers would affect increased entry controls and health checks. You would have to expect delays, route changes and, in certain cases, quarantine measures by local authorities. Many shipping companies have already stopped their trips or cut back heavily.
Vacationers in the Caribbean, of the Canary Islands and from Mallorca For example, special flights from Lufthansa and its subsidiaries Eurowings and Austrian Airlines are to be used to bring them back to Germany – a total of up to 6,500 vacationers, as Lufthansa informed the German press agency. Lufthansa is carrying out 15 charter flights by Wednesday for around 3,000 to 4,000 travelers who are stuck in Barbados and the Dominican Republic due to the coronavirus crisis. They are holiday guests from the islands as well as cruise passengers.
Several shipping companies and tourism companies have commissioned Lufthansa to fly the vacationers back. In addition to the 15 special flights, there would be two regular flights from the Dominican Republic and Barbados. Eurowings will be offering additional connections from Palma de Mallorca to Stuttgart, Hamburg and Düsseldorf in the next few days. The company is expecting around 2500 passengers. The first returnees arrived in Germany on Sunday.

TUI largely shuts down operations and brings vacationers back

In Morocco the Federal Government comes to the aid of German tourists who are stuck there because of canceled return flights. The country had decided to stop all flight connections to Germany, Belgium, Portugal and the Netherlands.

“The Federal Foreign Office and the German Embassy Rabat are working intensively with the tour operators and the EU partners to create return travel opportunities for German nationals from Morocco,” said a spokesman in Berlin. The tour operators are the first point of contact for package travelers. “We are also working with the travel companies to ensure that flight and ferry connections are available for individual travelers to leave,” it said.

Germany’s largest tour operator, TUI, for example, has canceled package tours, cruises and hotel operations until further notice. “The TUI Airlines are essentially busy getting guests back from their destinations,” it said. It is not yet possible to say exactly when to travel again.

In important vacation countries like Italy and Spain authorities have imposed curfews. “We are aware that guests no longer want to stay in a hotel where the bar may be open for an hour a day,” said a TUI spokesman. “We are working to bring the guests back from there too.”

Guests from Morocco should also be brought back from the Robinson Club Agadir, for example. “We are in exchange with the Moroccan authorities,” said the spokesman. But you can’t bring all the guests back overnight.
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