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Overview: Regional regulation and activities in the Wadden Sea World Heritage Destination during COVID-19

Monday 11th January, 2021

Updated regularly as destinations and government bodies issue new information. Last update: 11 January 2021.



As the situation is constantly changing it is often difficult to find relevant updates, particularly in English. With this overview, we try to provide a summary of the most recent information and relevant links to add some more transparency to the situation. CWSS will keep you updated on news on COVID-19 and what is happening throughout the Wadden Sea World Heritage Destination, using its network of public and private partners.

The pandemic caused by the corona virus affects all areas of life. In all three Wadden Sea countries, this has meant large-scale and sudden measures, including travel restrictions, recommendations on personal distance, and a ban on gatherings of people. It is important to note that there are certain differences in the recommendations of the various countries.

In Denmark, a series of national measures will apply until the end of 28 February 2021, and even stricter measures will apply until the end of 17 January 2021. To minimise the risk of coronavirus mutations in Denmark, the Government has decided to tighten its travel guidelines for all destinations worldwide.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel and the premiers of the federal states have decided that the restrictions currently in place to contain the COVID-19 pandemic are to be extended until the end of January. Private meetings are to be further limited. In areas with high incidences, there will also be a restriction on how far people may move from their homes.

In the Netherlands, Coronavirus is once again spreading rapidly. In recent weeks, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of infections. This is why the Netherlands is going into its strictest lockdown yet from 15 December until at least Tuesday 19 January.


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European Commission

The European Commission is coordinating a common European response to the coronavirus outbreak.

  • Updated daily: Overview (map) of cross-border and internal travel restrictions and other containment measures for 35 European countries.
  • Updated daily: List of the temporary border controls between Schengen countries. Further information on the controls can be found here which includes other measures restricting people movement and the operation of transport services.
  • 17 September: The Commission presents next steps for €672.5 billion Recovery and Resilience Facility in 2021 Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy. In its 2021 Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy, the Commission set out guidance for the implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Facility. The facility, a key instrument of NextGenerationEU, is managed by the Task Force RECOVER. To benefit from the Recovery and Resilience Facility, from 15 October 2020 Member States should submit draft recovery and resilience plans outlining national investment and reform agendas.
  • 4 September: The Commission proposes to harmonise national measures affecting free movement in the EU: The Commission has adopted a proposal for a Council Recommendation to improve the coordination and communication of travel restrictions.
  • 16 July: The European Council has reviewed and updated its recommended list of non-EU countries that member states should lift travel restrictions for at the Schengen external border. Montenegro and Serbia have been removed otherwise it is the same list of countries as 30 June 2020. The list is reviewed every two weeks. Final decision on border entry remains a matter of national competence.
  • 15 June: ‘Re-open EU’: New web platform to help safely resume free movement and tourism in the EU
    The Commission launched ‘Re-open EU’, a web platform that contains essential information allowing a safe relaunch of free movement and tourism across Europe. To help people confidently plan their travel and holidays during the summer and beyond, the platform will provide real-time information on borders, available means of transport, travel restrictions, public health and safety measures, as well as other practical information for travellers.

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UNWTO (World Tourism Organization)

UNWTO is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.

“The worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 has brought the world to a standstill, and tourism has been the worst affected of all major economic sectors. Against a backdrop of heightened uncertainty, up-to-date and reliable information is more important than ever, both for tourists and for the tourism sector.”

UNWTO is providing guidance and support for recovery measures of its members, the private and public tourism sector, including organizers of tourism events and fairs.

In light of the pandemic, UNWTO created a platform on restarting tourism with updated information.

What are they doing?

UNWTO has been providing the analytical insights needed for a better understanding and more effective response to the pandemic, by:

Tourism’s COVID-19 response has been furthered by UNWTO by 

The ongoing pandemic has hit the tourism sector hard, putting more than 100 million jobs at risk. Now, as countries begin to recover and tourism restarts in a growing number of destinations, the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative, led by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, has provided a plan of action for both public and private sector stakeholders to address the root causes of plastic pollution in these challenging times. The Recommendations for the Tourism Sector to Continue Taking Action on Plastic Pollution During COVID-19 Recovery illustrate how reducing the plastic footprint, increasing the engagement of suppliers, working closer with waste service providers, and ensuring transparency on the actions taken, can significantly contribute to the responsible recovery of the tourism sector.

  • 25.08.20: The “COVID-19 and Transforming Tourism” Policy Brief makes clear the impact that the pandemic has had on global tourism and how this affects everything from jobs and economies to wildlife conservation and the protection of cultural heritage.
  • 30.07.20: The United Nations specialized agency for tourism has been monitoring global responses to the pandemic from the start of the crisis. This latest outlook confirms the trend of a slow but continuous adaptation and responsible restart of international tourism.
  • 22.07.20: A new set of Recommendations outline how the global tourism sector can continue in its fight against plastic pollution while effectively facing the public health and hygiene challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 05.06.20: “Sustainability as the New Normal” a Vision for the Future of Tourism

The One Planet Vision calls for responsible recovery for the tourism sector, which is founded on sustainability, to build back better. This will underpin tourism’s resilience to be better prepared for future crises. The Vision will support the development and implementation of recovery plans, which contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to the Paris Agreement.

The One Planet Vision for the Responsible Recovery of the Tourism Sector is structured around six lines of action to guide responsible tourism recovery for people, planet and prosperity, namely public health, social inclusion, biodiversity conservation, climate action, circular economy and governance and finance.
Access the full document One Planet Vision for a Responsible Recovery of the Tourism Sector.

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The Danish government has introduced a number of national restrictions that apply to the entire country of Denmark. All national measures have been extended until the end of 28 February 2021.

Shopping centres, department stores, shopping arcades and bazars must stay closed until the end of 17 January 2021. Durable good shops, such as DIY stores and interior design shops, must also stay closed until the end of 17 January 2021.

Further, people in liberal professions who are not able to maintain the distance required to prevent infections, such as hairdressers, massage therapists, tattooists and driving schools, must keep their businesses closed until the end of 17 January 2021.


Overview of national measures

Download the Ministry of Health's Overview of current and new measures against COVID-19 as of 26 October 2020

This links to the Danish Police´s page with information from the Danish authorities in English regarding the state of COVID-19 in Denmark. It includes information on travelling to and from Denmark.


08.01.21: Effective from 8 January and until 17 January, Denmark has tightened its travel guidelines for all destinations worldwide from the previous level of “orange” (advising against all unnecessary travel) to “red”. The Government thus advises against all travel to all destinations worldwide. This step is part of efforts to manage the spread of coronavirus/COVID-19 in Denmark. The limitation of travel activity is an important element of efforts to control the spread of infection, as mutations of the coronavirus are appearing in a number of countries.

Read more about the raised level of travel advice and tightened travel restrictions (PDF)


25.11.20: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs presents a regional model for travel advice for travel to the EU and Schengen countries as well as to the UK. Regional travel advice provides the opportunity for opening up for travel to low-infection regions in “orange” countries and to advice against travel to high-infection regions in otherwise “yellow” countries.

05.11.20: The Danish Government introduced a number of local restrictions and measures in the municipalities of Hjørring, Frederikshavn, Brønderslev, Jammerbugt, Vesthimmerland, Thisted and Læsø, where many citizens are infected with a new version of the coronavirus from minks, in order to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Generally, the restrictions will take effect on 9 November 2020 and apply until at least 3 December 2020.


Visit Denmark: Stay up to date with the latest information and recommendations for visitors travelling to Denmark.

If you are not a Danish national or a resident of Denmark, different rules apply for entering Denmark depending on whether your country/region of residence is classified as open, banned or high-risk.

Here, you can stay updated on whether the Danish borders are open to your country of residence.

Business travellers with a clear business reason to visit should refer to regulations on the Danish Police website as they are allowed entry on some conditions.

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08.01.21: Decision taken by federal and state governments: Restrictions extended

The restrictions currently in place are to be tightened, such that households may only meet up with one other person who does not belong to their household. In districts where the seven-day incidence exceeds 200 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants, the federal states are to take appropriate further-reaching steps. In particular, people will only be permitted to move within a 15 kilometre radius of their place of residence, unless they have a compelling reason for doing so. Day trips are specifically mentioned as not constituting a compelling reason.

Read the full version of the decision  here.


13.12.20: Strict lockdown 16 December - 10 January

The federal and state governments agreed to call out a nationwide lockdown from 16 December until 10 January 2021. Private meetings with friends and family will continue to be limited to a maximum of 5 individuals from a total of two households. Children up to the age of 14 are not counted as part of this figure. Over Christmas the following will apply: Depending on the case numbers in each federal state, the states can make an exception to the contact restrictions in place from 24 December to 26 December 2020 and permit households to meet up with a maximum of 4 close family members from outside their immediate household. A nationwide ban on all gatherings will be in force on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. There is a general recommendation not to let off any fireworks. Shops are to close from 16 December 2020 to 10 January 2021, with the exception of food shops and shops selling essential goods. Masks are mandatory in and outside shops, in designated streets and in car parks.

Decision PDF, not barrier-free dated 13 December 2020 of the Federal Government and the Länder to fight to COVID-19 pandemic

18.11.20: With the amendments to the Infection Protection Act (Infektionsschutzgesetz) in the form of the 3rd Act to Protect the Population (Bevölkerungsschutzgesetz), the German Bundestag has put in place a sound legal basis for the protective measures that are needed during the pandemic.


For Germany, travel restrictions apply for entry from a large number of countries. These regulations are issued by the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI). Please check with the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI) prior to your trip to find out what regulations apply specifically with regard to the country from which you plan to enter Germany.

In principle, entry is possible from:

  • EU member states
  • states associated with Schengen: Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein
  • the United Kingdom
  • Other countries, from which entry is possible due to the epidemiological situation assessment by the EU.

Entry from other countries is only possible in exceptional casesand is conditional on there being an urgent Need.

Public life: Wearing a mask is mandatory in public transport, designated public areas and when shopping. As of 16 December, all shops, restaurants, bars etc. will be closed. Exceptions are grocery stores, grocery markets, pharmacies and other facilities essential for daily needs.

Tips on health and conduct can be found in several languages from the Federal Ministry of Health.

Back to everyday life with the Corona-Warn-App for Germany:the app is voluntary . It is a project developed on behalf of the Federal Government. Download the English version of the app here:


Tourism Associations on COVID-19


Tourism Boards on COVID-19



Lower Saxony:

08.01.21: Lower Saxony Corona Ordinance: The following version will come into force on January 10, 2021

Niedersächsische Verordnung über die Maßnahmen zur Eindämmung des Corona-Virus SARS CoV-2 (Niedersächsische Corona-Verordnung) - Lesefassung (gültig ab 10. Januar 2021) - mit markierten Änderungen)



Here the city of Hamburg put together the most important questions and answers about the corona virus in Hamburg. These FAQs are updated daily.

Specific travel advice is provided here.



08.01.21: From 11 January 2021, stricter corona rules will apply in the country. There are also new requirements for travelers returning from risk areas.

Die Verordnungen im Wortlaut unter



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14.12.20: The Netherlands will go into its strictest lockdown yet from 15 December until at least Tuesday 19 January.



  • Only go outdoors alone, with members of your household or in a group of no more than 2 people.
  • You should receive no more than 2 visitors aged 13 or over to your home per day.
  • A number of locations will be closed:
    • Shops (except those selling essentials like foods)
    • Locations where contact-based professions are carried out, such as hairdressers, nail salons and sex establishments
    • Theatres, concert halls, cinemas, casinos, etc.
    • Zoos, amusement parks, etc.
    • Indoor sporting venues such as gyms, swimming pools, saunas, spas, etc.
    • Restaurants, bars and cafés
  • Hotels will be open, but hotel restaurants will be closed and room service will be unavailable.
  • You are strongly advised to work from home.
  • Adults may take part in sports activities on their own or with one other person, but only outdoors. Children aged 17 and under may take part in team sports and play matches against children at the same club, but only outdoors. 
  • Public transport is for essential travel only.
  • Do not book any foreign travel until mid-March at the earliest and do not travel abroad.
  • The only contact-based professions that can continue are those of a medical and paramedical nature.


Travelling to the Netherlands:

You are strongly advised not to travel to the Netherlands unless it is strictly necessary. The borders remain open. If you do travel to the Netherlands, a negative test result is mandatory and you are strongly advised to self-quarantine for 10 days.


COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act

The COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act will enter into force on 1 December. It covers matters such as the compulsory wearing of face masks in indoor public spaces such as shops, museums, restaurants and theatres. The government will say more about this in the near future.



From 1 December you will be able to get a test if you have no symptoms but are at an increased risk of having been infected.


Government homepage on COVID-19

Government department for Health on COVID-19

Government department for Foreign Affairs on cross-border travel



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Links to partner / local initiatives

Wadden Sea World Heritage sends greetings to UNESCO. All videos sent to the World Heritage Centre can be viewed on their page.

PROWAD LINK: COVID-19 videos with Inspiration around the North Sea



UNECE: “Humans locked down, NATURE UNLOCKED”: a global photo contest on flora and fauna in the time of COVID-19 in support of the restoration of ecosystems.

The European Travel Commission (ETC) teamed up with Euronews to create and launch a new media campaign entitled “We are Europe”, designed to inspire people to get ready to travel again as travel restrictions across Europe are gradually being eased. The campaign, which will air in June and July 2020 on Euronews’ TV and digital platforms as well as on ETC and partners’ digital platforms, is targeted primarily towards European markets. To get involved in the campaign, please download the toolkit and follow the step-by-step instructions.

Giving Back While the travel and hospitality industry is under great strain, altruistic initiatives continue to provide recognition for front-line workers and community support. A recent example is Night On Us, through which hotels are pledging two-night mini breaks for all intensive care nurses in the UK.



Danish Wadden Sea World Heritage live on Facebook
Through a cooperation between the three South Danish UNESCO World Heritage sites and funded by the South Denmark Region the Danish collegues were live on Facebook telling about the Wadden Sea World Heritage. The videos can be watched at:



Winner of the photo campaign #WelterbeVerbindet
German UNESCO Commission and UNESCO World Heritage Association Germany announced the winners of the photo competition for the UNESCO World Heritage Day 2020.
One of the winner photos was taken by Sonja Lange and it was chosen as it demonstrates a feeling for the interplay of man and nature. The photo shows when she hits a wheel in front of the impressive expanse of the Wadden Sea.



Beach app for the North and Baltic Seas: Too crowded beaches in Schleswig-Holstein are not only annoying in Corona times, but also potentially dangerous. The latest idea from the Lübeck Bay tourism agency: a beach traffic light. The system is scheduled to go into test phase in July: in Scharbeutz (Ostholstein district) on the Baltic Sea and in St. Peter Ording on the North Sea. According to the tourism agency, sensors on the beach record the number of visitors - if it gets too crowded, the traffic light changes from green to orange to red.


Lower Saxony:

15.07.20 Even if the Lower Saxony North Sea coast and the East Frisian Islands receive guests again: The situation of the tourism industry as a result of the ongoing corona pandemic is dramatic, the crisis continues to exist. With a position paper, Ostfriesische Insel GmbH and Nordsee GmbH are therefore addressing the Lower Saxony Minister for Economics, Labor, Transport and Digitization Dr. Bernd Althusmann.

The East Frisian Islands are planning a joint app to help avoid crowds of visitors.
The app is designed to show users how busy swimming pools, museums, concert halls and restaurants are. If you register for the app, you will receive a code that you can simply scan when you visit leisure facilities or restaurants. This should make the name lists required for protection against infection superfluous. Reservations should also be possible via the app.

Plead for help of the East Frisian island to Mr. Althusmann at the Lower saxony ministry of economics, labor, transport and digitization.

Bringing the region to the visitor: "East Frisia for your living room" – online initiative of the Ostfriesland Tourismus GmbH   


Hamburg (Neuwerk):

NDR TV report “How does it work? An island under quarantine – Neuwerk” After 14 days of quarantine, Uli Patzwahl accompanied the islanders with the camera in their exceptional situation.


The Netherlands

ANWB Podcast "The Field Service" - Listening to Dutch nature

Theme year 'Ode to the Landscape' has officially started.
Together with six partners, NBTC Holland Marketing started with the substantive preparations for the theme year. During this theme year, attention is drawn not only to the beauty of the landscape, but also to its vulnerability.

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CWSS keeps the information in this bulletin correct and up-to-date to the best of CWSS's knowledge at the time of publication and its abilities. The information is being reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis. Given the rapidly evolving nature of the international response to the COVID-19 outbreak, CWSS cannot guarantee its accuracy and therefore takes no liability for any errors or omissions. Links to third party websites of third parties are offered as a courtesy. CWSS expresses no opinion on the content of the websites of third parties and does not accept any responsibility for third-party information. You should make your own independent inquiries before relying on any information or materials contained on these pages.

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