Germany lifts travel restrictions for 31 countries, including UK - YAHOO FINANCE
BY Jill Petzinger, Germany Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
German foreign minister Heiko Maas on Wednesday announced that the country will lifting its travel warnings for 31 countries on 15 June.
As well as allowing its citizens to travel to 26 EU member states, Germany will also lifts its warning for Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and the UK.
However, Maas said that the government does not recommend travel to the UK while the country still has a 14-day quarantine period in place.
He said the lifting of travel restrictions is "not necessarily an invitation to travel.”
Meanwhile, the US is not on the list of places Germans can now go to right now and existing travel restrictions remain in place.
Europe’s largest economy shut its borders to most of its neighbours in the middle of March, meaning only essential goods vehicles and commuters could cross.
That same week, on 16 March, German chancellor Angela Merkel announced national lockdowns, as the federal government in Berlin agreed with the 16 states that all commercial and social life must be shuttered to contain the virus.
READ MORE: Coronavirus: Early testing and swift lockdowns prevented 'up to 100,000 deaths' in Germany" data-reactid="30" style="margin-bottom: 1em; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: "Yahoo Sans"; font-size: 17px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">READ MORE: Coronavirus: Early testing and swift lockdowns prevented 'up to 100,000 deaths' in Germany
At the time of the shutdown, Germany had only 4,800 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, and around 10 deaths from COVID-19. Two-and-a-half months later, the comparatively low number of deaths — some 8,576 as of today — points to the effectiveness of the swift lockdown.
Germany’s leading virologist, Christian Drosten, has attributed the relatively low death toll to the fact that his team at the Charité hospital in Berlin was developing a coronavirus test in January already, and clinics were well-armed to start mass testing early on in the outbreak.
The German foreign minister said today that what were previously “travel restrictions,” will now be replaced with “travel advice,” meaning that the government will issue guidance on whether or not it is safe to travel to a certain country on an individual, case-by-case basis.
Maas also noted that travel warnings could be reintroduced in the future if new coronavirus infections in a particular country surpass 50 per 100,000 people in the space of one week.