BERLIN

Germany’s “travel warning” for non-EU countries should not be interpreted as a “travel ban” for citizens who want to travel to Turkey or other countries, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Wednesday.

Speaking at a press conference in Berlin, Deputy Foreign Ministry spokesman Christofer Burger said travel warnings were released to inform citizens about potential pandemic risks, restrictions or lockdown measures abroad.

“A travel warning is not a travel ban,” he stressed, in response to a question on whether German tourists can travel to Turkey for summer holiday, after the government’s decision to extend travel warning for all countries outside the EU.

“In the end, everyone has to decide for himself or herself. We cannot decide on their behalf,” Burger said.

The German government on Wednesday extended its travel warning for countries outside the EU until the end of August, advising citizens to avoid non-essential travel to non-EU member countries for tourism purposes.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has said his government will not be in a position to launch a new repatriation operation and bring back thousands of Germans nationals stranded abroad, in case of a new wave of infection or disruption to international air travel.

Last week, Berlin decided to lift travel warning for EU members and associated countries, despite the high number of active COVID-19 cases in France, Spain, Italy, and Belgium.

Germany’s leading tour operators have called on the government to lift travel warning also for non-EU countries, like Turkey, which have successfully managed the pandemic process.

Turkey is one of the most popular travel destinations for German holidaymakers. Nearly 5 million German tourists traveled to Turkey last year.

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