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HEALTH

Germany set to lift travel warning for 31 countries

The German government wants to lift the worldwide travel warning for tourists for 31 European countries from June 15th, if the coronavirus situation continues to improve within Europe.

Germany set to lift travel warning for 31 countries
Archive photo shows German tourists in Mallorca. Photo: DPA

In addition to Germany's 26 partner countries in the European Union, these include the UK, and the four states of the border-free Schengen area, which are not members of the EU: Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. 

These are the findings of a draft policy paper entitled “Criteria for Enabling Intra-European Tourism”, which is to be adopted by Germany's Cabinet as early as Wednesday.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) had issued the worldwide travel warning on March 17th – a step that is unprecedented to date – and extended it on April 29th.

READ ALSO: Germany extends worldwide travel tourist warning until mid-June

Until now, Germany has only issued travel warnings to areas which posed life danger, especially in war zones such as Syria or Afghanistan.

The lifting of the travel warning should give a starting signal for cross-border summer trips in Europe just in time for the holiday season. 

“The revival of tourism is important both for travellers and the German travel industry and for economic stability in the respective destination countries”, says the draft from the Federal Foreign Office.

The travel warning is to be replaced by individual travel advice, which will point out the risks for each individual country. 

Staying safe while travelling

In order to ensure the best possible protection of tourists against a coronavirus infection, the Federal Government intends to lobby the EU to adopt a number of common criteria.

Among other things, it proposes that the upper limit of 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days be adopted by the other European countries. 

In Germany, exceeding this limit will lead to the reintroduction of anti-corona measures which have already been scraped.

READ ALSO: State by state: Where and when can I travel within Germany?

The paper also implores individual countries to develop “sustainable concepts” for the observance of distance rules and hand hygiene, the wearing of masks, and the ventilation and disinfection of rooms. 

The ideas should also include plans for holidaymakers who fall ill and provide evidence of sufficient test capacities, quarantine and treatment options. 

In addition, the paper recommends that safety measures for passengers and personnel, for example on airplanes, be implemented.

 

Member comments

  1. That’s what I would like to know. Are the Americans allowed to travel to Germany as well, and under guidelines?

  2. Yes Americans are included in
    The German government wants to lift the worldwide travel warning for tourists

  3. The USA is not in the list of 31 countries mentioned here, and quite frankly Germany and most European countries would be crazy to allow Americans in at this time. I am an American living in the USA, and I have dear friends in Germany I desperately wanted to visit this summer, but it is just not a sensible idea from their perspective. We have way too many uncontrolled infections, and there will be a huge spike by the middle of June from all of our Memorial Day celebrations.

  4. Portugal
    Reopening Date: reopen date 6 June
    Conditions: Controversially, the opening includes citizens of the United States, Brazil, Canada, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Iceland, Venezuela, and the nations of the European Union—but excludes people from Italy and Spain.

    Sweden will also allow Americans being it was never official closed

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COVID-19 RULES

Bavaria pushes for stricter Covid regulations in autumn

Health ministers across Germany's 16 states are debating the government's new Covid plan - and politicians in Bavaria say they want more clarity.

Bavaria pushes for stricter Covid regulations in autumn

On Tuesday, federal and state health ministers planned to discuss the Covid protection proposals for autumn and winter presented last week by Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) and Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP).

However, some states and politicians are not satisfied with the plans. 

Under the proposals, masks will remain mandatory in air and long-distance transport, as well as clinics, nationwide. But federal states will be able to choose themselves whether to introduce further measures like mandatory masks on public and regional transport.

States will also have the power to take tougher Covid measures if the situation calls for it, such as mandatory masks indoors, but lockdowns and school closures have been ruled out. 

READ ALSO Masks and no lockdowns: Germany’s new Covid plan from autumn to Easter

The draft law states that there can be exceptions from wearing masks in indoor spaces, such as restaurants, for recently Covid-vaccinated or recovered people. 

But Bavaria’s health minister Klaus Holetschek (CSU) told DPA that these planned exemptions were not justified because vaccinated and recovered people can still transmit infections. “There are clear gaps in the current draft law,” said the CSU politician.

Dominik Spitzer, health policy spokesman for the FDP parliamentary group in the Bavarian state parliament, also questioned this exception, saying the rules “simply made no sense”.

“With the current virus variant, that would be impossible to convey, since even vaccinated people can continue to carry the virus,” the FDP politician told Bavarian broadcaster BR24. 

The coalition government’s graduated plan under the new Infection Protection Act, is set to be in force from October 1st until April 7th next year. 

The powers for the states are a first step, “but they do not go far enough for us”, Holetschek added, while calling for some points to be tightened up. “We need strong guidelines for autumn and winter.”

Holetschek said the government needed to tighten up the criteria with which states can adopt and enforce more effective measures to protect against the spread of Covid-19.

READ ALSO: Could Germany see a ‘patchwork’ of Covid rules?

Meanwhile, CDU health politician Erwin Rüddel said Germany was on the “wrong track” and the country should find “a completely different approach” to Covid policy than it has so far.

He accused the coalition government of being in “panic mode” and said he doubted the Bundestag would pass the proposals.

“I believe, there will be significant changes (to the draft)”, he said.

But the chairperson of the doctors’ association Marburger Bund, Susanne Johna, backed the plans.

“The proposal for the new Infection Protection Act gives the states sufficient possibilities to react adequately to the infection situation,” Johna told the Rheinische Post on Tuesday.

“The states can take regionally adapted measures to protect people if the need arises. I can’t understand why this concept is being called into question right away.”

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