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BERLIN: Germany will lift its pandemic travel warning for most countries from July 1, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Friday, bringing back more normalcy as citizens are increasingly vaccinated against COVID-19.

Countries recording infection rates of 50-200 cases per 100,000 people in seven days would no longer be deemed a "risk-zone".  However, restrictions remain in place for countries with higher levels of infections, or where virus variants are circulating, such as Britain or India.

"With the summer, hope and confidence are returning to Germany. In many places, the number of infections is falling and more and more citizens are vaccinated. After long months of lockdowns, we can look forward to more normalcy, and that also applies to travelling," said Maas.

At the same time, the minister stressed that the lifting of the warning should not be seen as an "invitation to carelessness". With an eye on virus variants, he warned that "in the summer of 2021, no one can claim to be surprised by the pandemic while on holidays".

With an incidence rate of just 19 per 100,000 people as of Friday, Germany has in recent weeks eased most curbs including allowing shops and restaurants to reopen. However, rules on mask-wearing in shops, regular tests for schoolchildren and employees working from home remain in place.
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