In Brief: Germany to lift blanket travel warning for EU member states, U.K., Schengen area on June 15

Germany's foriegn minister made clear: “Travel warnings are not travel bans and travel guidelines are not an invitation to travel.”

Image by Andreas Lischka from Pixabay

 

By Sylvia Cunningham, Caleb Larson and Monika Müller-Kroll

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas announced yesterday that a blanket travel warning would end for all EU member states on June 15.

The lifting also applies to the U.K. and the Schengen states of Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

The exception would be if the countries you’re going have a wide-scale lockdown or entry ban, for example Norway and potentially Spain.

Maas told reporters that we must not lull ourselves into a false sense of security.

“The pandemic is far from over,” Maas said, adding that we must work together so that summer tourism doesn’t lead to a second infection wave in Germany or anywhere else.

Going forward, Germany will start issuing individualized country guidelines.

Maas said, though this decision may raise people’s hopes and expectations, he made clear: “Travel warnings are not travel bans and travel guidelines are not an invitation to travel.”

He added, for example, Germany would still strongly advise against traveling to the U.K. while there is still a 14-day quarantine period in place for travelers.

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The number of people obtaining German citizenship is at its highest level since 2003.

Germany’s Federal Statistical Office reports there was a 15% increase in naturalizations in 2019, noting about half of that increase was Britons.

The number of naturalizations from Great Britain has shot up since the 2016 Brexit referendum, with more Britons naturalized last year than in the previous two years combined.

Turkish nationals meanwhile made up the largest single group of newly naturalized German citizens.

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Though several of Berlin’s outdoor swimming pools reopened last week, tickets in some neighborhoods are proving hard to come by. 

Tickets, which must be purchased online in advance and are only valid for a certain time slot, are already sold out through Sunday in some locations.

Matthias Oloew, a spokesman for Berlin’s public pools, said those close to the city center and pools where athletes go are especially popular, like the one at the Olympic stadium and those in Wilmersdorf and Kreuzberg.

Visitors have a better chance to get into the pools in Spandau Süd or Neukölln.

Swimmers have to practice social distancing in the pool, and changing rooms remain shut.

 

This news is brought to you in cooperation with Berliner Rundfunk.  

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