AAs a nationwide pioneer in the Corona crisis, restaurants in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania have reopened since Saturday. “I see a lot of colleagues who breathe a sigh of relief and guests who are satisfied,” said Lars Schwarz, President of the regional industry association Dehoga MV. This day is a bright spot after a difficult time with losses of many millions of euros that have not yet been calculated. He expects that on Saturday about a third of the approximately 5,000 companies in the country with their 55,000 employees will use the opportunity to open up.
It would not have been better for innkeepers like Peter Weide from Restaurant Vielmeer in Ostseebad Kühlungsborn: As in large parts of the state, the sun shone after cool weeks and an unpleasant north wind, and there was a mild wind. From Weide’s point of view, the first hours of the test run after seven weeks of closure went well, and the guests from the region were satisfied – even if they were operated by the service staff with a mouthguard. A guest per table must also leave their data in order to be able to understand if a new infection should occur.
Then stop currywurst instead of tarte flambé on Mother’s Day
Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig (SPD) announced on Monday the possibility of opening restaurants for residents of the country. The extremely low infection rate in the northeast provided her with the opportunity. According to industry estimates, everyone will open at Pentecost at the latest, because then guests from the other federal states can come back to Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. However, counties were excluded in which the corona crisis has not yet been sufficiently limited.
“The announcement came as a surprise – also for our wholesalers,” says Weide. They should have gotten their employees out of short-time work first. For his restaurant with 27 employees, this means that the menu is reduced to just a few dishes. The mood among the maximum of 80 guests was still good, they were happy to be able to sit in the sun in this atmosphere. “Then there must be currywurst and tarte flambé on Mother’s Day,” said Weide, referring to Sunday.
The good mood is clouded on Saturday in Sellin on Rügen, “the weather doesn’t play along,” as Tobias Moritz from the wine industry says. Drizzle prevented the guests from taking advantage of the possibility of foreign trade. “We are completely reserved for this inside in the evening.” Due to the distance regulation of 1.50 meters between strangers, only a maximum of 30 guests can fit in instead of 70. In addition, they will only be able to sit in the restaurant until 9 p.m. This is required by the new regulation of the state government.
On the other hand, around 30 kilometers further north in Sassnitz, the sun is shining, which makes Thomas Kursikowski shine from the sea banquet. No sooner had he opened the doors than the first guests came. “They were waiting for it.” Kursikowski was also lucky, he says himself. Because he was able to offer his guests fresh garfish and corn plaice with asparagus. “A wonderful moment after these bitter times.”
The coastal towns on the Baltic Sea are also trying to return to a form of normalcy. On the coast in Schleswig-Holstein, significantly more visitors were on the road again for the first time on Saturday. Guests strolled everywhere again on the promenades of Niendorf, Timmendorfer Strand and Travemünde. Sun-seekers lay on the sand on the beach, children played on the still cold water.
It is the first weekend on which all second home owners and long-term campers were allowed back, explains Kristina Wenske from the tourism service in Timmendorfer Strand. In addition, significantly more Schleswig-Holsteiners came to the coast for a day. However, hotels and restaurants are only allowed to reopen from May 18 – then guests from other federal states may also return to the coast in Schleswig-Holstein. Bookings were already going up steeply from the 18th, said Wenske.
From that day on, the beach chair renters can again offer their baskets – under strict conditions, as a landlady explains. So now she has received the information that the beach chairs are 3.5 meters apart and must always be disinfected. You then have to see how this can be done and how many baskets she can set up under these conditions.
Other Germans have to be patient a little bit until the next step towards normality. In Bavaria, for example, restaurants are allowed to reopen their outdoor areas on May 18. Baden-Württemberg also plans for this day. In North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony the time has already come next Monday. The target is May 15th in Berlin.