Germany Warns of Second-Wave Risks as Tourists Flock to Mallorca

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Germany’s top health official warned of the risks of a renewed outbreak of the coronavirus as tourists tired of restrictions partied at their favorite beaches in Spain.

“The danger of a second wave is real,” Health Minister Jens Spahn said at a news conference in Berlin on Monday.

Video footage showing hundreds of German tourists ignoring social distancing rules in “Ballermann” -- a district on the Spanish island of Mallorca known for its bars and restaurants -- have alarmed officials. Spahn cited the Austrian ski resort of Ischgl, believed to have been one of the European hot spots at the beginning of the outbreak, as an example of the risks.

“We must be very careful that Ballermann doesn’t become a second Ischgl,” Spahn said.

Several German tourists interviewed by local media said they didn’t want to wear a mask during their beach holidays and would prefer to stay at home if they had to.

Back home in Germany, the number of new cases each day has remained well below 1,000 for about a month, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. That compares with almost 7,000 at the peak of the pandemic in late March.

Still, the infection rate rose above the key threshold of 1.0 for the first time in almost three weeks on Sunday, raising alarm bells. The current figure of 1.04 means 100 infected people are estimated to pass the disease to 104 others.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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