German official hopeful for summer holidays in Turkey
Germany is in talks with Ankara over measures that could make it possible for German tourists to travel to Turkey for summer holidays, a senior government official said on June 4.
Thomas Bareiss, Germany's commissioner for tourism, expressed hope that they would be in a position to lift travel warnings for non-EU member countries like Turkey in the coming weeks, depending on the pandemic situation.
"We are working to ensure that travel warnings for third countries can also be lifted step-by-step in the coming weeks," he said in an interview with German press agency DPA.
"I don't see any reason to keep a travel warning if the number of infections is low if safety standards and protective measures are maintained," he said.
The German government decided on Wednesday to lift travel warning for EU member states and associated countries, as part of a normalization process after the novel coronavirus outbreak.
From June 15 onwards, Germans will be able to travel to 26 EU member states, the UK, as well as Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, the four countries in the Schengen area, Europe's border-free travel zone.
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said, before taking a decision on lifting travel warning for other countries, Berlin would wait for a recommendation of the EU Commission.
Germany's leading tour operators earlier called on the government to lift travel warning for non-EU countries like Turkey, which have successfully managed the COVID-19 pandemic.
Turkey is one of the most popular travel destinations for German holidaymakers. Nearly 5 million German tourists traveled to Turkey last year.