Germany and Turkey will continue their talks on tourism and conditions for lifting coronavirus-related travel restrictions, the German foreign minister said on Thursday.
Speaking at a joint news conference with his Turkish counterpart in Berlin, Heiko Maas said Turkey provided today detailed information about its COVID-19 containment measures and safe tourism program, which would be reviewed by relevant German and European authorities.
“In the next two weeks, we would have discussions within the EU and would review the list of positive countries,” he said, referring to the countries, which were classified by the 27-member bloc as safe countries for travel.
“But I cannot prejudge the outcome of our assessment,” Maas added.
On Tuesday, EU members decided to lift travel restrictions initially for 15 countries, including Canada, Algeria, Tunisia, Serbia, Rwanda, South Korea and Thailand, after a long debate among the member states.
The EU’s decision drew criticism from Ankara, with Turkish officials stressing that their country, which has successfully managed the pandemic process, should have been included in the list.
Asked whether Germany would scrap its national travel warning for Turkey, Maas said Berlin has to coordinate any decision on lifting travel restrictions with other EU member states.
Last month, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government decided to lift its global travel warning only for EU member states and Schengen associated countries (Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Switzerland), but extended it for all the other countries until the end of August.
Turkey is one of the most popular travel destinations for German holiday makers. Nearly 5 million German tourists traveled to Turkey last year.
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