The federal government has extended the travel warning for tourists due to the corona pandemic for more than 160 countries outside the european union until 31 december. August extended.
However, exceptions can be made for individual countries where the spread of the virus is sufficiently contained.
The assessment will take into account trends in the number of infections, the efficiency of health systems, testing capacities, hygiene rules, travel opportunities and security measures for tourists. The cabinet passed a resolution to this effect in berlin on wednesday. The tourism industry called for differentiated travel advice instead of a blanket extension.
Minister heiko maas said that the travel warning would be reviewed again and again before september. "Where – and only where – the overall package of a positive pandemic development, a stable health system, coherent security measures for tourism and reliable travel options allows it, we may be able to move from a travel warning to travel advisories sooner."
Maas had agreed on 17. In march, a travel warning was issued for tourists in all of the world’s 200 or so countries, making it possible to cancel trips free of charge.
Last week, the federal cabinet decided to lift the travel warning for 31 european countries. This includes germany’s 26 partner countries in the european union, great britain, which has just left the eu, and the four states of the border control-free schengen area that are not members of the eu: iceland, norway, switzerland and liechtenstein. For 29 countries, the lifting will take place on 15 march. June, for spain and norway only later, because there are still entry restrictions in force.
In the future, there will only be so-called travel advisories for these countries. This then provides information about the country-specific risks. This may also mean advising against tourist travel. For example, this is said to be the case with great britain, as long as there is still a 14-day quarantine obligation for all arrivals there.
For the other more than 160 countries, the travel warning is now valid until 31 august. August. This also includes the main travel destinations for germans, with turkey leading the way as the third most popular vacation destination. The federal government justified this step by saying that travel restrictions and quarantine regulations could be reintroduced in countries outside the EU "without any advance notice and with immediate effect".
Tens of thousands of german tourists were stranded abroad in march due to such sudden measures. 240,000 were brought back to germany in a weeks-long campaign. The federal government is determined to avoid a recurrence.
The federal government continues to strongly advise against cruises. Several cruise ships had problems finding a port of call in march due to infections on board.
The travel association DRV called the decision "unacceptable" because it lumps together some 160 countries. "The pandemic is subsiding in a very large number of countries around the world. Accordingly, the incidence of infection in the 160 or so countries covered by the travel warning varies widely," argued DRV president norbert fiebig. Many countries implemented hygiene and safety protocols. "This also applies to cruises, which implement safety concepts at the highest level," explained fiebig. At the same time, he pointed out that in the event of a crisis, the tour operators would bring back package holidaymakers.
The managing director of the FTI group, ralph schiller, criticized the federal government’s decision as "further depriving tour operators and travel agencies in germany of a large part of their economic basis and, moreover, as a severe setback for many of the destinations affected."
DER touristik manager ingo burmester buried the announcement of the minister of tourism to make individual evaluations on the basis of a catalog of criteria. "We are convinced that some destinations, including turkey, can already safely receive holidaymakers in the near future," said the central europe head.