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

Friday 23rd October, 2020

Updated regularly as destinations and government bodies issue new information. Last update: 23 October 2020.



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.

Increase in number of newly reported COVID-19 infections in all 3 Wadden Sea countries.

Critical daily rise in the number of new confirmed COVID-19 infections in Denmark. The spread of COVID-19 across the nation is now sufficiently critical to make the health authorities recommend the introduction of a series of new temporary measures in addition to the national measures already taken to combat COVID-19. Restrictions have been extended until the end of 31 October 2020. Starting on 24 October, Germans are only allowed to cross the border to Denmark with just cause.

In Germany, the federal and state governments have agreed on more uniform rules for dealing with the corona pandemic. The prime ministers agreed with Chancellor Angela Merkel to tighten the mask requirement in hotspots with many infections and to restrict celebrations even more. In addition, there should be a faster reaction to regional outbreaks in the future. Measures should be taken if there are 35 infections per 100,000 inhabitants within a week. If the so-called incidence is 50, even stricter restrictions should apply.

In the Netherlands increase in number of newly reported COVID-19 infections. The government decided that stricter measures are needed to bring down the number of infections. Partial lockdown since Wednesday 14 October. Between now and 27 October, the government will assess what measures are needed in the period after that.

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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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  • 19.09.20: Denmark on Saturday registered the highest number of new coronavirus cases since the pandemic broke out in March, surpassing the country's previous April peak.
  • 18.09.20: The spread of COVID-19 across the nation is now sufficiently critical to make the health authorities recommed the introduction of a series of new temporary measures in addition to the national measures already taken to combat COVID-19. From 19 September until 4 October, the Danish government has extended certain restrictions nationally. The number of people that can gather has reduced from 100 to 50, (500 in seated venues). Bars, cafes and restaurants will close at 10pm and you will need to wear a facemask when not seated (e.g. when queuing for the bathroom). Nightclubs remain closed.
  • 17.09.20: The Statens Serum Institut in collaboration with experts from the regions and universities is launching a large-scale COVID-19 project. The project is supported by the National Board of Health (SST), the Danish Agency for Patient Safety (STPS), the National Association of Local Authorities and the Danish Regions.
  • 28.08.20: The COVID-19 situation is changing regularly. Visit the Danish Police website for the most up to date information. Different restrictions and behaviour may be in place across the regions of Denmark - for up to date information, check with your local authorities and your travel provider before arrival. 
  • 03.07.20: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark has not made any significant changes to the travel advice for countries outside of the EU/Schengen and UK due to entry restrictions or quarantine requirements. The travel advice has been eased for the Swedish regions of Kronoberg and Blekinge.
  • 01.07.20: New travel advice model for countries outside of the EU/Schengen and UK: Effective Thursday, 2 July, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark introduces a new travel advice model for countries outside of the EU/Schengen and UK. One key element of the model will be the EU’s new list of countries that meet the defined COVID-19 criteria for entry to the EU.

An updated version of this EU list will be released every 14 days.

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.


Life in Denmark: the requirement to wear a face mask etc. on public transport applies until the end of 30 October 2020.

Bars, cafés and restaurants will thus continue to close at 22.00, standing customers must wear face masks, and the ban on gatherings is still max 50 people, for the rest of October.


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

Denmark’s borders were opened to most European countries from 27 June 2020, based on a set of health measures and analysis. Starting on 24 October, Germans are only allowed to cross the border to Denmark with just cause, such as working in Denmark or visiting family. Germans, who own a vacation home in Denmark, are exempted. So are residents of Schleswig-Holstein, as long as Covid-19-cases remain below 30 in 100.000 over a 7-day period.

If countries within the EU and the Schengen area as well as the United Kingdom and provinces in Sweden do not meet the criteria of the SSI for being open due to an overly high number of infected people, the countries/provinces will be categorised as banned countries/provinces.

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.

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


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14.10.20: The federal and state governments have agreed on more uniform rules for dealing with the corona pandemic. The resolutions at a glance:

Mask requirement
In a region with more than 35 infections per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days, mouth and nose protection should also apply in public areas when people are close or crowded together. With an incidence of 50, there could be a further expansion of the mask requirement.

Celebrations and events
The number of participants in celebrations is to be limited in hotspots with an incidence of 35 to 25 participants in public and to 15 in private rooms. The number of participants at other events should then also be restricted. With more than 50 infections per 100,000 residents in a week, only ten participants should be allowed at celebrations in both public and private rooms, with guests in private rooms only being allowed to come from two households. Other events should be limited to 100 participants.

If the limit of 35 infections per 100,000 inhabitants is exceeded within a week, there should be a curfew for restaurants and pubs in the affected district or city. With an incidence of 50, the curfew is to apply from 11 p.m., including a ban on the sale of alcohol. This regulation already applies in hotspots such as Berlin and Frankfurt am Main.

Ban on accommodation
The decision on the accommodation ban that some federal states have imposed on guests from risk areas was postponed. This is to be discussed again in November - after the autumn break.

Resolutions to fight the SARS-Cov2 pandemic of yesterday's conference between the Chancellor and the heads of government of the federal states (in German)

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 and when shopping. Shops and restaurants must observe distancing and hygiene regulations. All large-scale events are generally prohibited until 31 October 2020.Some establishments may remain closed or restrict accesss. Most stores are allowed to open, but access may be restricted.

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:

An updated ordinance on infection protection measures came into force on 23.10.2020.
Masks in outside public areas, where 1.5m distance cannot be ensured, are now a recommended measurement for areas with 35 cases in 100,000 and mandatory for areas with 50 in 100,000. The designations of locations, where such measures will be enforces, will be done by the local authorities.
More restrictions on personal contact in private and public places (see private meetings and celebrations)

15.10.20 The ban on accommodation is provisionally suspended due to a lawsuit. The information from the Lower Saxony Higher Administrative Court states, among other things:
The provisional suspension is generally binding, i.e. the provisions set out of enforcement are no longer to be observed by the accommodation establishments named therein with immediate effect. The decision is final.

An updated ordinance on infection protection measures will come into force on 09.10.2020.
Entry from high incidence areas is prohibited (see entry restrictions). Adapted regulations for private events apply depending on the incidence of infection (see major events). Sports events can again take place in front of a larger audience (see major events).The distance regulations and the restriction of physical contacts are of central importance.

The following version comes into force on October 10, 2020:
Lower Saxony regulation on accommodation bans to contain the corona virus SARS-CoV-2 of October 9, 2020

The list of districts and urban districts that are affected by the ban on lodging in Lower Saxony is updated every working day: Notes for travelers


28.08.20: The validity of the Lower Saxony Corona Ordinance was extended up to and including September 14, 2020. The still quite high number of infections speak against the originally planned further easing. The content of the regulation was initially only changed in two respects. Further changes to implement the nationwide agreements reached on August 27, 2020 will follow.

13.07.20: The structure of the new regulation has been adjusted. The regulations that are important for tourism can be found under §9 (accommodation), §10 (gastronomy), §12 (tourist services, shipping etc.), §13 (bus travel), §24 / 25 (events).
The following changes have occurred compared to the previous versions:
- lifting of the ban on accommodation for people from the Gütersloh district (already on July 11)
- Admissibility of child and youth trips with overnight stays in a group size of up to 50 people
- Buffets in restaurants Buffets are allowed again.
The new regulation will apply from July 13 until August 31, 2020.


06.07.20 Adjustment of the Lower Saxony ordinance:  Important changes include:
- Cultural events are allowed with up to 500 people (instead of 250 so far)
- No longer need to wear a face mask at indoor events after taking the seat e.g. B. in the cinema or theater
- lifting of the ban on accommodation for the district of Warendorf (important: Gütersloh remains)
- Standardization of the wording (based on the contact restrictions) for §2 m (tourist boat trips and other tourist services, cable cars)
- Admissibility of team sports in small groups of up to 30 people



From October 12, 2020, mask must be worn in public places. List of places here.

12.10.20: The ordinance provides stricter rules on the mask requirement if the seven-day incidence value is above 35 for three consecutive days.You can see the current daily incidence value on the Corona: Figures for Hamburg page.

25.08.20: The Senate decided today to extend the Hamburg Ordinance to Contain the Corona Virus to November 30, 2020 and made only a few changes that will apply from September 1, 2020. Comprehensive easing has not been made.

The current Hamburg regulation on curbing the spread of the coronavirus can be viewed here. The regulation is valid from July 1, 2020.

Specific travel advice is provided here.



14.10.20: Due to the corona pandemic, binding restrictions apply to entry to Schleswig-Holstein if you come from areas with a high spread of the corona virus.

05.10.20: From October 5th, new hygiene rules in retail will apply in Schleswig-Holstein - there will be no easing for the time being.

Reading version: State ordinance to combat the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus of October 1, 2020 (consolidated reading version with the changes of October 8, 2020, in force from October 9, 2020)

02.09.20: As the “Statistikamt Nord” announced at the end of August, around 2.2 million guests came to Schleswig-Holstein in the first half of 2020, a decrease of more than 43 percent compared to the same period in the previous year. The number of overnight stays, at around 9.0 million, was also significantly (-37.9%) below the previous year's level. The trend is positive, however, and despite the failure of the Easter business and an entry ban for several months, more than 50% of the volume of the record year 2019 was achieved.
Nature and rural holidays, organized and experienced as independently as possible, are particularly popular this summer. Here it can be seen that for many vacationers, the distance and safety aspects in times of Corona play a major role when choosing their vacation accommodation this summer.

22.08.20: State ordinance on measures to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus with the changes that will apply from August 24, 2020. Addition: Regulation that provides for a mouth and nose covering obligation on the premises of all schools within the scope of the Schools Act.


You can find the specific provisions and the latest information on the website of the state government.


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14.10.20: Partial lockdown until 27 October, the government will assess what measures are needed in the period after that.

The measures:

  • Groups:
  • At home you may have no more than three visitors per day, excluding children under 13.
  • At indoor seated venues a maximum of 30 people applies.
  • Indoors and outdoors a group must have no more than 4 people from different households.
  • There is no maximum number of people for a household.
  • Daily life:
  • Work from home, unless this is really not possible.
  • If you are aged 13 or over, wear a face mask in indoor public spaces and on public transport.
  • In secondary and higher education institutions (VO, MBO and HO) everyone must wear a face mask outside lessons.
  • All establishments that serve food and drinks must close. Take-away will still be possible.
    • Exceptions are:
      • hotels for hotel guests
      • funeral locations
      • airports (after security)
  • Locations with a combined function must close the section that serves food and drinks.
  • Retail stores must close no later than 20.00. There will be no late-night shopping.
    • Grocery stores may stay open later.
  • No alcohol will be sold or delivered between 20.00 and 07.00.
  • Between 20.00 and 07.00 you may not drink alcohol or have it on your person in public spaces.
  • Coffee shops (cannabis cafés) may only provide a takeaway service and must close by 20.00.
  • Events are banned, with the exception of:
    • food markets
    • trade fairs and conferences
    • cinemas and theatres
    • matches or competitions
    • demonstrations, gatherings and meetings as referred to in the Public Assemblies Act
  • Agreements will be made in the retail sector for strict compliance with the protocols. If it becomes too busy or if the basic rules are not being observed, a location can be partly or fully closed. Enforcement will be stepped up.
  • At locations where there is a continuous flow of people (such as monuments, libraries and museums) visitors must reserve a time slot. This does not apply to retail stores and food markets.
  • Taking part in sports is allowed, subject restrictions.

17.09.20: Increase in number of newly reported COVID-19 infections. The number of people who tested positive increased all across the Netherlands. The provinces of South Holland and North Holland showed the biggest increase.

06.09.20: The number people who newly tested positive has stabilized. Like last week, most newly established infections take place in the provinces of South-Holland and North-Holland. The numbers of reported hospital admissions and admission to the ICU due to COVID-19 have decreased. The reproduction number still lies around 1, similar to the previous week.

01.09.20: Government takes stock of measures to combat spread of coronavirus. No easing of measures at present.

18.08.20: The coronavirus situation in the Netherlands continues to be a significant cause for concern. The number of infections and hospital admissions has increased. This is why the government has announced a tightening up of measures.


  • From now on, receive no more than 6 guests at home (indoors and outdoors), excluding children under 13.
  • Continue working from home whenever possible.
  • The self-quarantine period has been reduced from 14 days to 10 days.


25.06.20: From 1 July, the following general rules apply for indoors and outdoors.

General rules for indoor activities
Maximum 100 people per room with fixed seats (excluding staff).
In shops, museums, libraries and other locations with flow of visitors, 1.5 meters away is the rule (locations themselves ensure compliance with this rule). There is no maximum number of people.

General rules for outdoor activities
Maximum 250 persons (excluding staff).
No maximum number of people under the following conditions: fixed seats, a reservation and a health check in advance.
In zoos, amusement parks and other outdoor locations with flow of visitors, 1.5 meters away is the rule (locations themselves ensure compliance with this rule).

In public transport, wearing a non-medical mask is mandatory. All seats in bus, train, tram and metro are available. For other transport from A to B (such as taxis, passenger buses and coaches), a reservation and health check in advance and a non-medical mask are required.

If the situation permits and the virus remains under control, discos and nightclubs can open in the long term. This will be reviewed around 1 September.


Travelling from EU countries, the Schengen area and the United Kingdom


Travellers from EU countries, Schengen area countries and the United Kingdom can travel to the Netherlands this summer. Travellers arriving in the Netherlands from certain countries and regions are strongly advised to self-quarantine for 10 days. Please read the information about self-quarantine on arrival in the Netherlands.

Residents from countries where the risk to health is either comparable to or lower than that of the Netherlands can visit the Netherlands. Everyone must follow the Dutch advice and rules to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.


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.

Kampagne “Wir sind bereit” -


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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