Germany will drop its blanket travel warning to more than 160 countries and switch to country-specific advice with a ‘traffic light’ system of warnings from October 1.
The German foreign ministry extended the current blanket warning against travel to most countries outside Europe to the end of this month on September 9.
It also announced new travel warnings to parts of Europe, including large areas of France and Croatia and the cities of Prague and Geneva.
Germany currently allows unrestricted entry to travellers from beyond Europe only to a handful of countries including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Uruguay.
But the German foreign ministry confirmed: “From October 1, unrestrictedly differentiated travel and safety information for individual countries will apply again.”
At the same time, it will introduce a three-tier or ‘traffic light’ system of travel advice with ‘green for go’, ‘orange for wait’ and ‘red for stop’.
The ministry will continue to advise against all non-essential travel to countries it defines as ‘risk areas’ or ‘red’.
It will also advise against travel to countries where entry is limited, quarantine required or freedom of travel not permitted, designating these destinations ‘orange’.
Only countries with low levels of Covid-19 infection and no travel restrictions will be ‘green’, with travellers advised to “take special care”.
The announcement drew a cautious welcome from the German travel sector which has campaigned against a blanket warning.
But industry leaders said the move did not go far enough and called for regional travel advice.
The German travel industry association, the DRV, described the change as “a timid step in the right direction” but said: “Little will change for customers and the travel industry in practical terms.”
DRV president Norbert Fiebig urged the foreign ministry to “keep a sense of proportion with its travel warnings”.
Germany imposed a worldwide warning on March 17. This was lifted to most European destinations on June 15, but remained in place for more than 160 countries including Turkey, Egypt, the US and the Caribbean.
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