THE first batch of tourists to arrive in Mallorca since the coronavirus lockdown have sent out a resounding message – ‘We’re happy to be here!’
The Olive Press has been out and about to chat to some of the sunseekers who touched down this week. The first tourist flight allowed into Palma as Spain starts to return to normality was from Dusseldorf and was part of a pilot scheme to restart the tourist economy.
Around 10,000 travelers are expected to arrive on Mallorca in the next two weeks.
Christian Meyer from Dusseldorf said: “I’m really happy to be here in Mallorca. I’ve been coming to the island every year once or twice a year.
“Normally there are many thousands of people, it’s quieter, but safe here.
“We are on holiday for a week, we talked about it and because Mallorca was closed in March, we said when it is open we will be on the first plane there.
“It feels like life is going back to normal because we’re doing the things we did before.”
Alexandra Knies-lke travelled from Frankfurt with her parents and two children. They have visited Mallorca three times before and are staying in the RUI Hotel.
Alexandra, who is an office worker said: “It’s different now because you always have to wear masks and it’s emptier than before.
“If you come into the hotel there is a camera which takes your temperature. Also every time you go to eat in the restaurant you have to wear masks, but not by the pool or on the beach.
“My children are so happy to be here on the beach playing in the sun.”
Dustin Witt, 24, and Yvone Diederichs, 25, are both nurses from Trier, near Luxembourg, they worked in a hospital with COVID patients and this is their first break and holiday.
“This is our first holiday because we work in a hospital and because of coronavirus we were not allowed to take any holiday time. We are both very happy to be here on vacation.
“We feel very safe here in Mallorca and felt safe travelling. We have both been here before and it’s very quiet and the first time we’ve seen less people on the beach.
“But we appreciate we’re staying here now as in August and September there will be more people.
Wolfgang, 62, who is retired, and Christiane Gmelch, 58, a bank manager, arrived in Mallorca on Monday from Wurzburg.
It is their first trip to the island, which they chose as their usual destination in Portugal is still closed.
Wolfgang said: “We were expecting many more people, but it’s nice for us. We have no problem with this. I think if every tourist lives with these rules then it’s not going to be a problem.”
They are staying in a hotel in a popular German resort Playa de Palma.
Wolfgang said: “We have COVID-19 in Germany and the rules there are the same as here. In the hotel you have to wear masks. In the restaurant you have to wear gloves and when you go into the hotel, restaurant or bars they take your temperature.
“We are used to having to do the same in Germany and it’s not a big problem for us. We know the rules and do exactly the same here.
Baibel and Matthias Drews who have been going to Mallorca for the past 30 years arrived from Emsdetten on Monday for a week’s holiday in Playa de Palma also said the situation is the same as in Germany.
Matthias, who works in the electrical industry, said: “We weren’t worried about flying or coming here.”
Baibel, a civil servant, said: “The staff in the hotel take your temperature when you arrive, then at breakfast and again in the evening. If you go out of the hotel they will also take it again. But it’s very good that they do this.”
She added: “It’s very quiet here compared to normal. Before there would be many more people on the beach, but not so many now. All the cafes and bars are meant to open up more tomorrow. But this is ok for us because it’s quiet, if you have lots of 20 to 30- year-olds they make a lot of noise.”