23 August 2020

El amor en los tiempos del corona: The Ever-Changing Map of Risk Areas

There is a reason why all of the travel plans I have made this year are all within Germany. I have enough vacation days to take a week off every month from August to December. And all of my plans involve tickets that I can easily cancel or exchange, with a very small monetary penalty, if needed. This is because sometimes it is just very hard to predict which geographical area would be safe, and which would has a current outbreak.

See, Europe reopened its internal borders a few months ago, and people started travelling. However, some countries had varying levels of outbreaks and so the threat that a second wave would come has been hovering over our heads for a while now. At one point, one country would be safe, and a few weeks later, there would be high infection rates that would make you think twice whether you would want to be there.

It's also the same within Germany. Germany has a slow yet steady rising level of infection. This means that other countries might start consider Germany to be a risk area, and therefore travellers from Germany would be required to go to quarantine upon arrival, which is definitely not what you would want if you're on vacation.

Several countries publish their list of risk areas regularly, and navigating this can be a pain. So in order to avoid that, I decided that all of my trips would be within Germany this year. In any case, I see the news and sometimes I wonder how crazy it can be. For example, BBC regularly reports of British people rushing back to go to Britain because suddenly France (or Austria, or Croatia, or some other country) is now considered a risk area by Britain and therefore travellers from there will be required to go to quarantine. There's a part of me that wonders why that is considered newsworthy when travelling in this situation is definitely a privilege. In any case, this pandemic has caused plenty of disruptions, that is clear.

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