"We will travel differently, but we will travel," says Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU).

What does this mean for vacationers?

Timo Kotowski

Editor in business.

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    With the falling incidence numbers and the end of quarantine obligations, many European countries are accessible again for summer vacationers. However, there are still requirements that mainly relate to additionally required documents. “Don't just think about the toothbrush, but also think of the other things on the checklist,” says Scheuer, formulating his warning somewhat flippantly. Disregarding this advice can thwart vacation plans, as Dirk Inger, managing director of the German Travel Association (DRV) warned.

    Inger is currently on business in Greece.

    Ten passengers were not allowed to fly on his outbound flight because they either had no evidence of a negative test or a vaccination with them - or they had not done the digital entry registration required by Greece.

    To ensure that this does not happen to holidaymakers during their vacation, the DRV and the Federal Association of the German Air Transport Industry (BDL) have designed a checklist that travelers can find online at the associations and the Ministry of Transport.

    There are more formalities - does that mean the outward journey takes longer?

    Vacationers should be prepared for this.

    The urgent recommendation is that travelers take the usual advice to be at the airport at least two hours before the take-off of the holiday plane particularly seriously this summer.

    "The security requirements have increased along the entire travel chain," says Inger.

    That means: holidaymakers have to be prepared for traveling in the Schengen area that they only have to pass the boarding pass and security check.

    Test and vaccination certificates - either in the app or on paper - and, if necessary, entry registrations for a destination country are also checked - which extends controls.

    If more checks are carried out, will there be crowds and long queues in airports?

    Nobody says that, but politics and companies are probably worried about this. Large crowds would be an unwelcome picture despite all the obligations to keep your distance in terminals. Matthias von Randow, General Manager of the BDL Aviation Association, therefore says: “Our company is doing everything possible to make travel easier again, but customers can also do something to help.” His advice: Travelers should prepare more.

    This includes: Check-in to get the boarding pass online, if possible.

    Always have all the necessary documents to hand, from ID cards to vaccination or test certificates.

    Always save digital documents on smartphones in such a way that they can be called up quickly so that queues remain short.

    At Frankfurt Airport, Deutsche Lufthansa, Fraport and the test center operator Centogene are opening a drive-in station where travelers can drive up to 23 hours before departure - and thus the evening before - to check in their luggage and have a Corona PCR test close.

    For weeks there has been a lot of talk about holiday bookings.

    Are there still offers for package tours abroad?


    For some flights it may no longer be possible to get a ticket, but overall there are many more booking options than the providers would like.

    According to market data, the booking status of the tour operators is around a third of the level from the pre-crisis year 2019, for the summer months, according to flight plan data, the German airlines are planning to offer only 34 percent fewer take-offs in intra-European traffic than in 2019, i.e. two thirds of the flights to be carried out again.

    Hotel rooms are also still available.

    Which countries are accessible again for vacationers?

    Almost all of them in Europe. During the holiday season, German airports will again head for 217 destinations in Europe, only nine fewer than in 2019. However, many routes are served less frequently. Some countries have not yet reopened to tourists or require those arriving to be quarantined. Currently these are Norway, Finland, Great Britain and Iceland. On the Mediterranean, however, Italy and large parts of Spain - including the Balearic Islands with Mallorca - are no longer risk areas.