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Germany poised to issue travel warnings for USA, Turkey and Israel

Just as the United States looks set to introduce new system that could end its months-long travel ban, Germany is on the verge of branding the country a "high-risk" area, along with Turkey and Israel.

Germany poised to issue travel warnings for USA, Turkey and Israel
A woman wearing a mask goes for a jog near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. America could shortly become a 'high risk' area. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/AP | Jeff Chiu

According to media reports, the Robert Koch Institute will be adding the United States and Israel to its high-risk list as of Sunday, August 15th, meaning each of those destinations will be subject to a travel warning from next week.

In addition to the United States and Israel, Montenegro and Vietnam could also be reclassified as high-risk categories from Sunday.

To allow German residents with a Turkish heritage to return from their summer visits, Turkey will join the high-risk list a few days later, on Tuesday evening. 

The news on the United States comes just days after a report by Reuters revealed that the United States government was planning to introduce new rules to make it easier for vaccinated travellers to visit the country.

According to reports, President Biden is considering a ‘vaccinated-only’ entry rule that could pave the way to lifting the months-long ban on European tourists. 

READ ALSO:

Nineteen regions and countries have been upgraded since the Health Ministry introduced sweeping reforms to its travel rules at the start of August – including the scrapping of the ‘basic risk’ category and the rebranding of ‘high-incidence’ areas as ‘high risk’.

The high-risk category takes into account numerous factors as well as the 7-day incidence as infections per 100,000 people to determine whether a destination would be particularly risky for travellers. 

Quarantine for the unvaccinated 

Travellers returning from high-risk areas to Germany are subject to a ten-day quarantine that can be ended after five days with a negative test.

Vaccinated travellers or those who have recently recovered from Covid don’t have to quarantine if they can show proof of vaccination or recovery. 

READ ALSO: Five things to know about Germany’s new Covid testing rules

Everyone entering from a high-risk area must also register beforehand on the Digital Entry Portal and show proof of vaccination, recovery of a negative test, regardless of whether they travel by train, car or plane. 

Since high-risk areas are also subject to a travel warning, the decision could have an impact on the validity of travel insurance if tourists choose to visit these countries. 

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TRAVEL NEWS

Germany considers ‘Klimaticket’ to replace €9 public transport offer

Germany could well be heading for more affordable public transport after the success of the €9 ticket.

Germany considers 'Klimaticket' to replace €9 public transport offer

More than 20 million people bought the €9 monthly travel ticket in June aimed at helping people during the energy crisis. 

And now the German government is thinking about introducing a ‘climate ticket’ as a replacement to the cheap transport offer that runs until the end of August. 

According to a draft of the emergency climate protection programme (Klimaschutzsofortprogramm), the government – made up of a coalition between the Social Democrats (SPD), Greens and the Free Democrats (FDP), could offer a “Klimaticket” for use on local public transport. 

The draft plans, which were made available to business daily the Handelsblatt, state that “tariff measures are to be used to permanently increase the attractiveness of local public transport”.

According to the government proposals, “a discounted ‘climate ticket’ as a standardised state local transport monthly or annual ticket for regional rail passenger transport and local public transport” would ensure low-cost rail travel in the future.

Germany’s states are responsible for local public transport. However, the federal government is prepared to “financially support” a “climate ticket”. Details are still being examined, however. For instance, the draft does not indicate how much a ‘climate ticket’ could cost consumers.

A similar ticket exists in Austria.

READ ALSO: Less traffic, more ticket sales: How the €9 offer has impacted Germany

Social rights groups and politicians have been calling on the government to extend the €9 offer, or consider another cheap transport deal, such as the €365 yearly ticket.

Since June 1st, people in Germany have been able to use the €9 ticket to travel on all public transport buses, trains and trams throughout the country. The ticket is not valid on long-distance trains. 

But Transport Minister Volker Wissing and Finance Minister Christian Lindner said that the offer would not be extended due to the tough economic situation. 

According to German media, the Federal Environment Agency is in favour of a successor model after the €9 ticket expires, which could be financed by abolishing climate-damaging subsidies in the transport sector.

Germany is trying to think of ways to reduce CO2 emissions by 2030 in order to achieve climate goals. 

All ministries have to submit proposals to Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck (Greens). The federal cabinet is expected to approve the climate protection programme in mid-July.

How does the ticket work in Austria?

The Klimaticket in Austria is billed as being a “valuable contribution to the climate of our planet”, according to its website.

It allows people to “use all scheduled services (public and private rail, city and public transport) in a specific area for a year: regional, cross-regional and nationwide”.

The national ticket – the Klimaticket Ö – includes all public transport throughout the whole of Austria, but at €1,095 for a year, it isn’t cheap. However, it is valid on both regional and long-distance transport. 

There are also region-specific Klimatickets which are much more affordable. The Salzburg ticket, for example, costs around €270 per year

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