The CDC placed Germany and Denmark in the highest travel warning category on Monday, following a persistent upward trend in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.
In addition to these two countries, travelers had already been urged not to visit Austria, Belgium, Costa Rica, Czechia, the Netherlands, Turkey, and Singapore.
This time around, tourists will find a different Christmas landscape in Germany.
For starters, the Nuremberg Christmas market, as well as the popular Christmas market in Munich, will not open this year-end due to concerns over an uncontrollable spread of the virus.
“We are going to have a really terrible Christmas if we don’t take countermeasures now,” said the Director of Germany’s disease control agency last week.
On Monday, Chancellor Merkel warned her party’s leaders that “what is in place is not sufficient,” and that stricter COVID-19 restrictions were required.
Barring unvaccinated people from public transport and most public venues in regions where hospitalized Covid-19 patients exceed a certain threshold is being discussed.
A new nationwide lockdown “cannot be ruled out”, said the Health Minister on Monday.
Denmark, the other hard-hit country this week, is setting a new record high in coronavirus infections almost every day.
Back in September, the government lifted all remaining COVID-19 restrictions allowing citizens to live in some sort of post-pandemic era because the pandemic was “under control.”
Eight weeks later, the government is been compelled to withdraw its words and reimpose most of the previous domestic restrictions.
The Director-General of the Danish Health Authority said Friday that the country’s parliament needs to support a new mandate requiring people to show their “Coronapas” when visiting restaurants, concerts, and nightclubs.
Data from the ECDC suggest the above-mentioned countries will not be the only ones facing travel restrictions during Christmas and NYE.
On Monday, the European Union’s Health Commissioner announced that the bloc’s travel rules will be amended this week to “avoid fragmentation.”
According to Bloomberg, the amends could include the duration of validity for the COVID-19 vaccination certificates and the display of booster shots on EU digital COVID passports.