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TRAVEL RULES

Americans urged not to travel to Denmark due to Covid-19 cases

The State Department urged Americans Monday not to travel to Germany and Denmark due to surging Covid-19 cases in Europe.

Passengers at JFK Airport in New York on November 16th. The United States warned on November 22nd against travel to Germany and Denmark due to high Covid-19 incidence in those countries.
Passengers at JFK Airport in New York on November 16th. The United States warned on November 22nd against travel to Germany and Denmark due to high Covid-19 incidence in those countries.Photo: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

The department issued Level 4 travel advisories — the highest level — for both countries, “indicating a very high level of COVID-19 in the country.”

Europe’s return to the pandemic’s epicenter has been blamed on a sluggish vaccine uptake in some nations, the highly contagious Delta variant, and colder weather moving people indoors again.

In Germany, the EU’s most populous nation, just 68 percent of the population is fully jabbed.

The country has urged all vaccinated adults to get a booster jab to combat waning vaccine efficacy after six months.

“Probably by the end of this winter, as is sometimes cynically said, pretty much everyone in Germany will be vaccinated, cured or dead,” German Health Minister Jens Spahn said, as he urged more citizens to get the jab.

Outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that Germany’s current Covid curbs — including barring the unvaccinated from certain public spaces — “are not enough.”

With intensive care beds swiftly filling up, Germany’s worst-hit regions have ordered new shutdowns, including the closure of Christmas markets.

Denmark meanwhile has a higher vaccination rate at just over 75 percent of the population.

Cases have however been at a high level in recent weeks in the Nordic country, which lifted all coronavirus restrictions in September before reimplementing its Covid-19 health pass earlier this month.

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COVID-19 RULES

Masks to remain mandatory on Italian flights after May 16th

It will still be obligatory for passengers to wear masks on flights to Italy until mid-June, despite the end of the EU-wide requirement on Monday, May 16th, the Italian government has confirmed.

Masks to remain mandatory on Italian flights after May 16th

The Italian government reiterated on Friday that its current mask-wearing rules remain in place until June 15th, reports newspaper Corriere della Sera.

This means the mask mandate will still apply to all air passengers travelling to or from Italy, despite the end of an EU-wide requirement to wear masks on flights and at airports across the bloc from Monday.

READ ALSO: Reader question: What type of mask will I need for travel to Italy?

National regulations take precedence, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) confirmed when announcing the end of the EU rules.

“Wearing face masks at airports and inflight should be aligned with national measures on wearing masks in public transport and transport hubs,” they said in a joint statement published on May 11th.

READ ALSO: Why are so many Italians still wearing face masks in shops?

“If either the departure or destination States require the wearing of face masks on public transport, aircraft operators should require passengers and crew to comply with those requirements inflight, beyond 16 May 2022.

“Further, as of 16 May 2022, aircraft operators, during their pre-flight communications as well as during the flight, should continue to encourage their passengers and crew members to wear face masks during the flight as well as in the airport, even when wearing a face mask is not required”.

The Spanish government also said on Thursday that air passengers would have to continue wearing face masks on planes.

Italy’s current rules specify that higher-grade FFP2 masks should be worn on all forms of public transport, including buses, trams, regional and high-speed trains, ferries, and planes.

Though rules were eased in some settings from May 1st, masks also remain a requirement until June 15th at Italy’s cinemas and theatres, hospitals and care homes, indoor sporting event and concert venues, schools and universities.

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