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Germany: Government changes classification of coronavirus danger zones in the EU

Due to the high number of coronavirus infections, the German government on Wednesday classified individual regions in 11 European countries, including all of Belgium, Iceland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as high-risk areas, reports the dpa agency.

The federal government has also decided to reclassify risk areas related to the coronavirus pandemic. Every country in the world will now be assessed individually.

For the first time since the start of the pandemic, German disease control authority, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), has included the UK in its epidemiological warnings. Wales and Northern Ireland were identified as risk areas(coronavirus danger zones).

The French regions of Pays de la Loire and Burgundy are also mentioned .

Areas in the Baltic states of Lithuania and Estonia were also mentioned for the first time . Regions in Ireland, Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary and Romania have also been added.

In addition, the German Foreign Ministry released a travel warning to Belgium, Romania and Lithuania on Wednesday .

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In Germany, the risk area classification and subsequent travel warning are issued if the number of new coronavirus infections in an area exceeds 50 per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days.

A traveler warning is not a prohibition, but has a significant deterrent effect against travel to vulnerable areas, especially for tourism purposes. The government’s travel warnings have a positive side for consumers : they allow vacationers to cancel their reservations free of charge.

Thanks to new decisions by Berlin’s federal government, 17 of the 27 EU countries are now at least partially recognized as risk areas for the coronavirus pandemic, including all of Belgium, Spain, the Czech Republic and Luxembourg.

Iceland does not belong to the European Union, but to the Schengen area, which is free from border controls.

Poland is the only one of the nine countries bordering with Germany , which is not yet on the list of threats. Among the nine EU countries not on the list of epidemiological risk areas are popular holiday destinations: Italy, Greece, Malta and Cyprus.

The risk area status has been revoked for Freiburg (Friborg) in Switzerland and for the Croatian holiday resorts of Zadar and Sibenik-Knin.

Outside the EU, the travel warning is only valid for those countries that have exceeded the limit of 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the last seven days. Currently, this applies in whole or in part to over 130 countries.

Traveling to around 50 other countries is not recommended due to entry restrictions or a ban on leaving the EU.

This group includes Thailand, a popular winter tourist destination where the number of coronavirus infections is very low. Currently, however, foreign tourists are not allowed to enter this country.