Doctor Gründling, you are an intensive care physician and sepsis specialist at the Greifswald University Medical Center and a member of the “Safe Tourism” task force in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. How important is vacation in such a crisis?
Vacation is extremely important. People are facing a big problem right now, many are worried and worried. You have to get away from it sometimes, that’s important and healthy. For this, people are certainly ready to accept a few new rules on vacation.
You have drawn up a paper for the hotel association of the island of Usedom on how, from a medical point of view, a vacation could work in the Corona crisis. So you believe that summer vacation will still exist?
I believe that. If you think carefully about how to do it. I live on Usedom myself and know exactly how things go there in high season …
… the beaches are packed …
… exactly. It will not be possible that way. But you can come up with something. The beach chairs are already a certain distance apart. And this must also apply to the holiday as a whole: distance is the most important thing.
In their paper, they made many concrete suggestions for tourism. What should check-in at a hotel look like in Corona times?
Something should already happen before that: The guest should be informed in detail about the new procedures before arrival. About the fact that he has to wear mouth and nose protection in public spaces, that he can only pay cashless, or that it would be helpful if he installed the tracking app on his cell phone if it existed until then.
And then everyone arrives at the same time on Saturday and gets too close?
I suggest that Saturday should no longer be the only day of arrival to correct everything. We can only secure the distance if we equalize processes. When the guest arrives at the hotel, they must be made aware of the new rules. You can measure fever without contact, and the guest should be asked about typical symptoms. Then he is received in the lobby and when it is full he has to wait outside.
What contribution should hotels make?
The hotels have to go through the new processes and not only train their employees, but maybe also take away their fear. They may think that here in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania the danger for them is so low, and now all the “bad” tourists come from the other federal states with the higher infection rates. This can lead to tension and unfortunately quickly degenerate, we have seen this in the past few weeks when cars with third-party license plates were punctured by tires. A lot needs to be explained in this direction too.
And how should hygiene be ensured?
One should not underestimate that hotels have a lot of knowledge about hygiene measures, I have no concerns about that. With a sleeve over the toilet or the remote control wrapped in plastic sheeting, you could also show the guest in the room that everything has been disinfected. This could be more difficult in holiday homes or apartments. Especially when several families or friends rent together. That must not happen, then hygiene measures will not help either.