Germany extends travel warning for more than 160 countries

Germany extends travel warning for more than 160 countries
An Eurowings flight landing in Mallorca on August 18th. Photo: DPA
The German government has extended the travel warning for tourists for more than 160 countries outside the EU by two weeks until September 14th.

The decision was made on Wednesday at a cabinet meeting, DPA learned from government insiders.

On March 17th, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued a warning against tourist travel for more than 200 countries around the world in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In June, however, Germany lifted the ban for all EU countries, the border control-free Schengen area as well as the UK, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City. Later, parts of Turkey joined the list.

However, warnings are issued for these countries or particular regions if the coronavirus situation changes.

Germany is also currently allowing incoming travellers from 11 non-EU countries with low-infection rates, including New Zealand and Australia.

READ ALSO: Who is allowed to travel to Germany from outside the EU?

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Government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said the decision to extend the advisory against “tourism trips” to so-called third countries — those outside the EU and the no-passport Schengen zone — had been taken in the face of rising infection numbers in Germany attributed to travellers.

The current warning had been set to run out on August 31st but a foreign ministry spokeswoman said that the “very dynamic development” of the pandemic required continued vigilance.

“We are seeing that many countries' infection numbers are continuing to rise or rising again,” she said.

“We are also seeing that the rising number of infections (in Germany) often has to do with people returning from abroad and bringing the infection with them.”

A travel warning is not a ban, but is intended to deter people from non-essential travel.

The travel warning is issued regardless of the Robert Koch Institute’s classification of countries as risk areas. Anyone returning to Germany from a risk area must be tested for the coronavirus

Several holiday destinations popular with Germans, such as Egypt and Tunisia, have recently called for the travel warning to be lifted.

Germany has fared better than many of its European neighbours during the pandemic but infection rates have risen this month to levels not seen since April.

Germany on Wednesday reported 236,429 COVID-19 infections, up 1,576 on the previous day, with a total of 9,280 deaths.

READ ALSO: 'Insane adventure': What it's like travelling to Germany from abroad in coronavirus times


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