Long-term campers in the north can escape a little Corona – “We are incredibly happy”


Damp (Schleswig-Holstein) – Long-term campers in the north can count themselves lucky right now in the pandemic. Because hotels and guesthouses are tight, even with a mobile home vacation is hardly possible.

In Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony they are allowed on the courts under certain conditions, but in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania only during the day and when they are from their own country.



Long-term camper Holger Koch sits in front of his caravan Photo: Frank Molter / dpa

Holger Koch has been a permanent camper in Damp (Schleswig-Holstein) for 30 years. His caravan is right on the water. He and his wife come here every year, they spend six months on the Baltic Sea. The couple was previously traveling in Europe in their motorhome. “At some point we decided that we both want peace and quiet.” And the space offers that, especially now. “We are incredibly happy.”

On the island of Fehmarn, 265 of the 805 parking spaces are currently rented to long-term campers at the Wulfener Hals campsite. Martin Gerken (65) raves. He has been vacationing on the Wulfener Hals site since 1988, and has been a permanent camper since the early 1990s.

“We saw the beginnings of animation on the square and are still involved there today.” Gerken is often on the square, but not on short weekends, the way is too far for that. “When I retire this year, we will be able to stay longer on the pitch.”


On Fehmarn there are rental caravans behind empty parking spaces at a campsite

On Fehmarn there are rental caravans behind empty parking spaces at a campsitePhoto: Frank Molter / dpa

There is nothing better for children. “They go out in the morning and you know they’ll come back when they’re hungry.” Gerken is aware of the special situation of long-term campers during the corona pandemic: “We are privileged.”

According to operator Malte Riechey (42), the trend in recent years has tended to be away from permanent camping. “It’s not because of the lack of demand,” he says. But it has increased even more at tourist parking spaces. In mid-April, around 10 percent of the permanent campers were there during the week and 20 to 30 percent at the weekend. “That will now increase significantly.”

In the hope of a normal season, more than a million euros had been invested in the course. The failure at Easter was tough. “Every day that is closed costs us a lot of money.” The business could not sustain the proceeds from permanent vacancies. “We desperately need our guests.”

In Lower Saxony, the demand for permanent campsites is greater than the supply. Long-term campers are treated like holiday home owners and, unlike tourists, are currently welcome. Julia Staarmann, from the Association of Campground Entrepreneurs of Lower Saxony: “We have endless inquiries.” In the Alfsee Holiday and Adventure Park near Osnabrück, around 380 of 750 pitches are rented all year round. In the Südsee-Camp in Wietzendorf, for example, almost half of the places are rented all year round: 600 out of 1,300.

In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, stricter rules have been in place since Saturday. Long-term campers from other federal states are no longer allowed to be on the sites. According to the state camping association, anyone who lives in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is only allowed to be there during the day, and staying overnight is prohibited.

“Completely incomprehensible”, says Oliver Behrens, manager of the campsite in the Baltic Sea Bad Graal-Müritz. Sending people back from the safe environment of a campsite to a large and narrow city is described by those affected as “total madness”. “That causes great displeasure.”

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