Germany to extend travel warning for more than 160 countries

The German government plans to extend the travel warning it has in place for more than 160 countries outside the European Union until Aug. 31, as nations around the world continue to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

The cabinet intends to take a decision on the matter on Wednesday, dpa has learned. Exceptions could be made for individual countries that meet certain criteria.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued a travel warning for all around 200 countries around the world on March 17 after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, which was an unprecedented step.

Up to that point, warnings against travel had only been made in the event of danger to life and limb, for example war zones. In those cases free cancellations of trips were possible.

Last week, the Berlin cabinet decided to lift travel warnings from June 15 for a number of European countries.

These include Germany’s 26 partner countries in the European Union, Britain that has just left the EU and four non-EU countries in the border-free Schengen area: Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

For 29 countries, the end of the travel ban takes effect from June 15; for Spain and Norway it will be lifted later, because entry restrictions still apply in these two countries.

For the other more than 160 countries – including some major travel destinations for German tourists like Turkey – the travel warning will be extended until August 31 for an initial period, although there could be exceptions.

Criteria for judging the safety of other countries would include: infection numbers, the performance of health systems, testing capacities, hygiene rules and entry restrictions.

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