The government wants to lift travel warnings for the summer holidays

Jens Büttner, picture alliance via Getty Images

The Federal Government wants to lift the worldwide travel warning for tourists from June 15 for 31 European countries if the further development of the corona pandemic allows. In addition to Germany’s 26 partner countries in the European Union, these include Great Britain, which has left the EU and the four countries of the Schengen area that are not subject to border control, which are not members of the EU: Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. This emerges from the draft for a key point paper entitled “Criteria for the Enabling of European Tourism”, which may possibly be decided on Wednesday in the cabinet and is available to the German Press Agency.

Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) issued the worldwide travel warning on March 17 – a step that has so far been unique. So far, travel warnings have only been issued if there is a risk to life and limb, especially in war zones such as Syria or Afghanistan. In the past few weeks, more than 240,000 tourists stranded due to cut flight and ferry connections have been brought back to Germany in an unprecedented campaign.

The lifting of the travel warning should now give the start signal for cross-border summer holidays in Europe just in time for the holiday season. One is guided by the idea that “the revival of tourism is important for travelers and the German travel industry as well as for economic stability in the respective target countries”, says the largely coordinated draft from the Federal Foreign Office.

The travel warning is to be replaced by individual travel advice, which should show the risks for each individual country. In order to ensure the best possible protection for tourists against a corona infection, the Federal Government in the EU wants to work for a number of common criteria. Among other things, she suggests that the upper limit of 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants be taken over by the other European countries within seven days. In Germany, if this limit is exceeded, anti-corona measures that have already been abolished will be reintroduced.

In addition, the individual countries should develop “sustainable concepts” for compliance with distance rules and for hand hygiene, for wearing masks, and for ventilation and disinfection of rooms. The protection concepts should also contain plans in the event of the illness of holidaymakers and demonstrate sufficient test capacities, quarantine and treatment options. In addition, the recommendations of the EU Commission for the safety of passengers and personnel in means of transport such as airplanes have to be implemented, according to the paper from the Foreign Ministry.

The European Commission is to develop a procedure for evaluating the protective measures taken, the paper said. On this basis, the responsible federal ministries then want to make “friendly recommendations on protective measures”. The relationship between the risk of infection and the protective measures taken should be assessed as well as the regional differences in the individual countries.


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