SHARE
COPY LINK

TRAVEL

Germany adds three coronavirus-hit Spanish regions to quarantine list

Germany on Friday added three northern Spanish regions to its list of high-risk destinations, meaning anyone arriving from those areas will have to produce a negative coronavirus test or go into quarantine for 14 days.

Germany adds three coronavirus-hit Spanish regions to quarantine list
People in Germany are being warned not to visit parts of Spain including Barcelona. Photo: DPA

Germany's Foreign Ministry said it had toughened up its warning against travel to the regions of Catalonia, Navarre and Aragon following a spike in Covid-19 cases there.

The move comes after Germany's Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for disease control added the three regions to its high-risk list.

“A mandatory quarantine can only be avoided through a negative Covid-19 test,” the ministry said.

The Ministry had on Tuesday already advised against non-essential travel to the three regions but Friday's tightened restrictions underline the growing alarm about returning holidaymakers bringing the virus back with them.

READ ALSO: Germany warns against tourist travel to parts of Spain

The affected regions include the tourist hotspots of Barcelona and the beaches of the Costa Brava.

Germany, itself grappling with a surge in cases, has announced mandatory, free coronavirus tests at airports for anyone entering the country from a high-risk area.

German Health Minister Jens Spahn on Friday said he expected the scheme to be up and running next week.

Travellers returning from non-risk areas who wish to get tested will also have free access to tests within 72 hours of arriving back in Germany, he said.

“The rising infection numbers in Germany are a clear warning signal. The virus doesn't take a vacation,” he said.

Germany on Friday reported an additional 870 coronavirus cases, bringing the total so far to 208,698.

Of those, 9,141 people have died from the virus so far.

RKI head Lothar Wieler this week voiced “great concern” over the uptick in cases, which comes as countries across Europe are battling a surge in infections.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about Germany's plans for mandatory Covid-19 tests for returning travellers

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

COVID-19 RULES

Germany should prepare for Covid wave in autumn, ministers warn

German health ministers say that tougher Covid restrictions should come back into force if a serious wave emerges in autumn.

Germany should prepare for Covid wave in autumn, ministers warn

Following a video meeting on Monday, the health ministers of Germany’s 16 states said tougher restrictions should be imposed again if they are needed. 

“The corona pandemic is not over yet – we must not be deceived by the current declining incidences,” said Saxony-Anhalt’s health minister Petra Grimm-Benne, of the Social Democrats, who currently chairs the Conference of Health Ministers (GMK).

According to the GMK, new virus variants are expected to appear in autumn and winter. Over the weekend, federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) also warned that the more dangerous Delta variant could return to Germany. “That is why the federal Ministry of Health should draw up a master plan to combat the corona pandemic as soon as possible and coordinate it with the states,” Grimm-Benne said.

Preparations should also include an amendment of the Infection Protection Act, ministers urged. They want to see the states given powers to react to the infection situation in autumn and winter. They called on the government to initiate the legislative process in a timely manner, and get the states actively involved.

The current Infection Protection Act expires on September 23rd this year. Germany has loosened much of its Covid restrictions in the last months, however, face masks are still compulsory on public transport as well as on planes. 

READ ALSO: Do people in Germany still have to wear Covid masks on planes?

The health ministers said that from autumn onwards, it should be possible for states to make masks compulsory indoors if the regional infection situation calls for it. Previously, wearing a Covid mask was obligatory in Germany when shopping and in restaurants and bars when not sitting at a table. 

Furthermore, the so-called 3G rule for accessing some venues and facilities – where people have to present proof of vaccination, recovery, or a negative test – should be implemented again if needed, as well as other infection protection rules, the ministers said. 

Bavaria’s health minister Klaus Holetschek, of the CSU, welcomed the ministers’ unanimous call for a revision of the Infection Protection Act. “The states must be able to take all necessary infection protection measures quickly, effectively, and with legal certainty,” he said.

North Rhine-Westphalia’s health minister Karl-Josef Laumann (CDU) warned that no one should “lull themselves into a false sense of security”.

“We must now prepare for the colder season and use the time to be able to answer important questions about the immunity of the population or the mechanisms of infection chains,” he said.

On Tuesday, Germany reported 86,253 Covid infections within the latest 24 hour period, as well as 215 Covid-related deaths. The 7-day incidence stood at 437.6 infections per 100,000 people. However, experts believe there could be twice as many infections because lots of cases go unreported. 

READ ALSO: Five things to know about the Covid pandemic in Germany right now

SHOW COMMENTS