Germany can prevent a second Coronavirus wave: health minister

German Health Minister Jens Spahn speaks during a news conference, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Berlin, Germany, July 13, 2020. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch/Pool

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany can prevent a second wave of the coronavirus in the autumn if people stay vigilant, particularly during the summer vacation season, Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Monday.

Spahn told a news conference it was important to remain alert when travelling abroad and said he was worried by pictures showing holidaymakers partying in Mallorca at the weekend and ignoring social distancing rules.

“I understand the impatience, but where there are parties the infection risk is particularly high,” he said.

“That’s why we have to try particularly now in the holiday season to prevent infections. We don’t automatically have to expect a second wave in the autumn and winter. Together, as a society, we can prevent that, as we did once before: breaking the wave and keeping the pandemic in check.”

He added that more than 15.5 million people had installed Germany’s coronavirus warning app and that 500,000 people were tested for COVID-19 last week, the most since the crisis began.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt and Caroline Copley; Editing by Maria Sheahan