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dpa/GNA – Thousands of German holidaymakers flew to the Spanish resort island of Mallorca at the weekend determined to enjoy their Easter holiday on the beach despite a rise in coronavirus infections at home and appeals to refrain from travelling.

On Saturday, 60 planes from Germany arrived in the island’s capital Palma, and another 70 were expected on Sunday, according to the airport.

Eurowings alone flew to the island 44 times from nine German airports on Saturday and Sunday, according to its own information. That is almost four times as many flights as the previous weekend, which only had 12.

The airline did not give exact passenger figures. However, all flights were “quite well booked,” a spokesperson for the company told dpa. However, the number of flights was still less than 40 per cent compared to the pre-pandemic period.

Tui brought almost 2,000 package holidaymakers to the island on 15 planes from five German airports. The flights were not fully booked and were “at the same level as last weekend,” a spokesperson told dpa.

The German government had removed Mallorca and the other Balearic islands from the list of coronavirus risk areas on March 14 after the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants fell below the threshold of 50 within seven days. Currently, the so-called incidence rate is 28.71 according to the most recent calculation by the Spanish Ministry of Health.

With the removal of Mallorca from the risk list, holidaymakers to the island are no longer required to undergo quarantine and compulsory testing on return, which has led to a booking boom for the Easter holidays.

From Tuesday onwards, however, every air passenger arriving from abroad will have to show a negative coronavirus test, when a corresponding regulation is due to come into force.

The German government generally advises against domestic and international travel because it considers mobility to be a major driver of the pandemic.

At the weekend, the Easter holidays began in most federal states.

According to a report in the German-language local newspaper Mallorca Zeitung, the Spanish airport operator Aena expects a total of 532 flight connections to and from Germany for Mallorca’s airport from March 26 to April 5, which is Easter Monday.

The number of flights is 51 per cent below the Easter holidays of the last pre-pandemic year of 2019.

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