Germany extends travel warning to Turkey over pandemic concerns

Germany has extended its travel warning to Turkey and 129 other countries considered an increased risk for infection from COVID-19, Sözcü newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s state agency responsible for disease control and prevention, said it prepared the list of “no-go” countries based on the number of people infected with the novel coronavirus per 100,000 people, according to Sözcü, which added that by Berlin’s calculation there must be at least 51,500 positive cases currently in Turkey.

On Tuesday, Turkey’s Health Ministry announced the country had registered over 227,000 cases and over 210,000 recoveries from the coronavirus since March 11.

The travel warnings were issued based on hygiene measures, contact tracking, testing capacity and the availability of transparent data, Sözcü said.

The extension of the travel warning until the end of August is considered a blow for Turkey’s $35-billion tourism industry, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Turkey has seen a rise in daily recorded coronavirus cases after its government began to significantly ease COVID-19 restrictions on June 1.

Millions of German citizens of Turkish origin live in Germany. Almost 5 million people visited Turkey from Germany last year, ranking the country second after Russia for the number of tourists.