German authorities announced on Wednesday, June 17, that the ban on large events will be extended until at least October 31, in an effort to further curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
German authorities previously announced on June 10, that the travel warning to non-European countries for German citizens will remain in place until August 31. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that travel to non-European countries could lead to German citizens being stranded abroad or holidaymakers bringing more COVID-19 cases when they return to Germany. Officials are due to lift border controls for EU member states, Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein, and the UK by Monday, June 15.
The German government has extended social distancing rules requiring people to stay 1.5 m (4.9 ft) apart until June 29 to contain COVID-19. However, public gatherings of up to ten people, or members of two households, have been allowed since June 6. Authorities continue to recommend that individuals limit their number of social contacts, keep the size of their social group as constant as possible, and suggest that individuals hold gatherings outdoors.
All border crossings with France, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Austria have been open since May 15, with random checks in place. Business trips and family visits have reportedly been permitted.
As of Wednesday, June 17, health authorities have confirmed 188,474 COVID-19 cases and 8844 associated deaths in Germany. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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