Berlin (dpa) – Due to the increasing number of corona infections, the federal government classifies Turkey as a risk area. Travelers from the popular holiday country who have not been vaccinated or recovered will have to quarantine for five to ten days from Tuesday, the Robert Koch Institute announced on Friday.
The US, Israel, Kenya, Montenegro, Vietnam and two French overseas territories are also classified as risk areas on Sunday. Portugal, on the other hand, is being removed from the risk list, with the exception of the Algarve, which is especially popular with tourists, and the capital Lisbon.
Fully vaccinated and recovered travelers from risk areas are exempt from the quarantine obligation. Everyone else has to isolate themselves after entering the country and can only get rid of it with a negative test after five days.
Nearly 70 countries are risk areas
Countries and regions with a particularly high risk of contamination are classified as risk areas. Unlike in the past, it is not only the infection figures that are decisive. Other criteria include the speed at which the virus is spreading, the burden on a country’s health system or a lack of data on the corona situation.
With the new classifications, there will be nearly 70 countries classified in whole or in part as risk areas. Even today, with Spain, the south of France and Cyprus, there are still popular holiday areas for Germans. With Turkey, there is now another top holiday destination.
Turkey fights with corona and forest fires
The number of corona cases in Turkey rose rapidly at the end of July and more than 20,000 new cases are currently registered daily. In July, it was still about 7,000 a day. By comparison, about 5,578 new cases were reported in Germany on Friday – with a similar population. At the beginning of July, Turkey relaxed the corona measures: night bans were lifted on weekdays and weekends, the catering industry reopened, weddings and similar parties are allowed again.
Tourism is an important source of income in the country. Last year it was down about 70 percent. In the first quarter of this year, turnover was about 40 percent lower than in the same period last year. Most tourists come to Turkey from Russia, followed by people from Germany. In addition to Corona, the devastating forest fires in the southwest of the country also cause problems for the industry.
Initially little impact on travel to the US
The US rating will likely have little impact on travel at first. Washington is working on easing entry restrictions for Europeans. When this will happen is still unclear. The highly contagious Delta variant still prevents the Americans from opening the border. The German economy has long been hoping for this. The classification as a risk area should be a downer for them.
Ex-vaccination champion on the risk list
Israel’s classification as a high-risk area may surprise many. The country was once celebrated as the world champion in vaccination. But that was once. Israel on Friday became the first country in the world to start the third vaccination for people over 50, after more than 775,000 people aged 60 and older received a third vaccination. But the number of fully vaccinated people is in danger of stagnating. More than 58 percent of the more than 9.4 million Israelis have been vaccinated – other countries have already caught up with the former world vaccination champion.
Young people in particular are hesitant to vaccinate and the number of unvaccinated people in the Arab population of the country is relatively high compared to the population. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has therefore addressed these groups in recent days with a request to get vaccinated, and influencers should also campaign for the vaccination on social media. Above all, the delta variant is on the rise and in the middle of Israeli midsummer, many people wearing mouth and nose coverings tended to hold back. A rethink is gradually becoming noticeable, also because many people are afraid of a new lockdown.
According to a report from the news website ynet, the Israeli government expects up to 2,400 seriously ill corona patients by mid-September. At the height of the pandemic in Israel in January, the number of seriously ill people was around 1,200.