COVID-19: Germany dashes tourism sector’s hopes on lockdown

AGENCIES | BBC News – Germany has taken cautious steps to ease its coronavirus lockdown, allowing small shops to reopen last week.

But in a blow to its tourism sector, its warning against worldwide travel has now been extended until 14 June.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Germany’s fight against the pandemic was not at a stage where he could “recommend carefree travel”.

“People won’t be able to spend a holiday as they usually know it, on full beaches or in full mountain huts.”

Germany warned on Wednesday that its economy could shrink by a record 6.3% this year.

“We will experience the worst recession in the history of the federal republic” founded in 1949, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said.

In common with several other EU states, Germany closed some of its land borders last month to try to curb the spread of Covid-19, and repatriated 240,000 German travellers from abroad.

The German association for tour operators said it had lost over €4.8bn ($5.21bn) in sales up until the end of April, and said the tourist sector would now need urgent government assistance.

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