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German Health Minister Expresses Concern Over Tourists in Mallorca

German tourists arrive at the beach of Palma de Mallorca, Spain, June 15, 2020.
German tourists arrive at the beach of Palma de Mallorca, Spain, June 15, 2020.

Germany’s health minister Monday expressed concern about reports of German tourists partying on a Mediterranean island without masks or apparently, any regard for coronavirus-related social distancing.

Local media on the Spanish island of Mallorca, a favorite German vacation spot, was particularly critical of the German tourists, calling their behavior “chaos.”

At a Berlin news conference, Jens Spahn told reporters he understood the impatience people must feel after being locked down for months, but he said the risk of COVID-19 infection is particularly high in “party” situations.

He said the tourists could cause a risk to other passengers on their flights, as well as people back home.

Spahn said he didn't want to see another situation like in the Austrian town of Ischgl, where there was a large outbreak of the virus earlier this year.

Spahn also urged Germans not to stage private parties for Oktoberfest, after the official event was canceled this year due to the pandemic. He said Germany is not doomed to have a second wave of COVID-19 later this year, and Germans can keep it from happening by being cautious.

He said Germany managed to flatten the curve of infections, with just under 200,000 confirmed cases and 9,071 deaths to date, and he believes the coutnry can do it again.

The health minister said he would prefer to rely on “reason, not primarily prohibitions” to fight the spread of the virus.

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