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LATEST: These are the countries and regions on Germany’s ‘high risk’ quarantine list

Currently, most countries around the world are on Germany's coronavirus 'high risk' list, but many regions in Europe are affected. Here's the latest.

LATEST: These are the countries and regions on Germany's 'high risk' quarantine list
Photo: DPA

Please note this article was updated on October 5th. The situation is subject to change so keep an eye on official advice.

Throughout the pandemic, Germany has introduced travel restrictions to try and control the spread of coronavirus.

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for public health maintains an updated list of risk areas.

READ ALSO: Who is currently allowed to travel to Germany from outside the EU?

What is a risk area?

A risk area is any country or region outside Germany where this is an increased risk of infection of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

How many places are classed as risk regions?

Around 160 countries or regions around the world are considered to be high risk regions by Germany. They include the USA, India, Mexico, South Africa, Spain (including the Canary Islands), Belgium, and Israel.

Some of these countries, such as India, Mexico and South Africa, were included in the worldwide warning against tourist travel implemented by the German government in March.

Germany lifted the blanket travel warning from October 1st but replaced it with specific guidance. If countries are still deemed to be 'high risk', people in Germany are still warned against visiting them.

The very few non-EU countries that are not listed as risk areas include Australia, Canada, China, Vietnam, Thailand, New Zealand and Japan.

Travel has been allowed in the EU since mid-June but restrictions can change when regions and countries are declared high risk.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about changes to travel and quarantine rules from October in Germany

What are the latest developments?

As the Local has reported, in total, regions in more than half EU member states have now been designated as risk areas. The Federal Foreign Office has updated the travel warnings on its homepage.

READ ALSO: Germany declares coronavirus 'high risk' areas in more than half of all EU countries

Here are recent developments (as of October 5th).

– Netherlands: the whole country, except the provinces or autonomous countries of Zeeland and Limburg, is considered a risk area.

United Kingdom: travel warnings currently apply to Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, North East England, North West England and Yorkshire and the Humber. Those returning from others parts of England do not have to self-isolate upon arrival (although this could change at short notice).

– In France, the regions of Pays de la Loire and Burgundy (Bourgogne-Franche-Comté) have been added to the quarantine list.

The regions of Brittany, Centre-Val de Loire and Normandy have been considered as risk areas since September 23rd.

Previously in September these areas were added to the list: Hauts-de-France and Île-de-France, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (since August 24th), Occitanie, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes and Corsica (all since September 9th).
 
The overseas territories of Französisch-Guyana, Guadeloupe, St-Martin and La Réunion are also deemed risk regions.

– In Belgium, the capital Brussels was recently listed as a risk area. But now the whole country is classed as a risk zone. That means it particularly affects German border regions in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate.
 
– For the first time early in October, the German government included areas in the two Baltic states of Lithuania (Šiaulių) and Estonia (Idu-Viru) on the risk list.

Luxembourg: the whole country is considered a risk area.

Austria: the Austrian capital Vienna was declared a risk region on September 16th due to an increasing number of Covid-19 cases.

Czech Republic: the whole country (without exceptions) is now considered a risk area.

READ ALSO: 'I was scared to get fined': What it's like to be tested and quarantine after arriving in Germany

Which other countries are affected?

Denmark: the region of Hovedstaden, which includes the capital Copenhagen, is considered a risk area

Ireland: The border region is now considered a risk area as well as the capital Dublin.

Croatia: the county of Lika-Senj is now also considered a risk area.

It joins the counties of Brodsko-Posavska and Viroviticko-Podravska along with, Split-Dalmatien (both since August 20th),  Dubrovačko-neretvanska and Požega-Slavonia (both since September 9th).

Portugal: Greater Lisbon is considered a risk area.


Romania: the counties of Alba and Cluj are considered risk areas. They join Covasna. Previously the counties of Neamt and Caras Severin were considered as risk areas. They join Bacău (since August 12th), Bihor (since August 7th), Brăila (since August 12th), Brașov (since August 12th), București (since 12 August 12th), OIasi (since September 9th), OIlfov and Prahova (both since August 12th).

The regions of Arges and Dambovita in Romania are no longer considered as risk areas.

Slovenia: the region of Koroska and Primorsko-notranjska (coastal inland Carniola) are now considered risk areas.

Hungary: the Csongrád, Vas, Pest and Györ-Moson-Sopron regions are now also considered a risk area. they join Budapest.

Switzerland: The cantons of Geneva and Vaud are risk regions (both since September 9th).

Spain: The whole country has been classed as as a risk region since September 2nd

Outside of the EU there are some developments too:

United Arab Emirates: the whole country is considered a risk area.

No longer risk regions

But with all the bad news about rising infection rates and new travel warnings, there is also good news: for Fribourg in Switzerland as well as the Croatian holiday destinations Zadar and Sibenik-Knin, the status as high risk areas has been lifted, meaning there is no warning against travelling there.

In Austria the municipalities Mittelberg / Kleinwalsertal (Vorarlberg) and Jungholz (Tyrol) are not considered as risk areas.

Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Cuba, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles and Sri Lanka are also not considered as risk areas.

When is an area in Germany classed as a ‘high-risk zone'?

Countries or regions are declared risk regions when there have been more than 50 new cases per 100,000 citizens in the past seven days.

The decision is made by the Federal Foreign Office, the Interior Ministry, the Health Ministry and the RKI.

Other factors are taken into account such as which measures are being taken to halt the spread of Covid-19, if it's a local or widespread outbreak plus testing strategies and rules in place such as hygiene or contact tracing.

A list of the regions considered risk areas can be found on the RKI website, which is updated regularly. 

READ ALSO:

Travellers returning to Germany from coronavirus risk areas must be tested and go into quarantine until the results are available.

The country is in the process of changing rules. From October 15th, anyone returning to Germany from a risk zone has to go into quarantine for 14 days. After five days the person affected can take a free coronavirus test and if it is negative, the quarantine period can be ended.

The implementation of this and the rules around it lies with the individual German states. Please contact the health department of the state you are visiting or living in for detailed information.

Editor's note: Please keep in mind that this article, as with all of our guides, are to provide assistance only. They are not intended to take the place of official legal advice.

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COVID-19

Court turns down AfD-led challenge to Germany’s spending in pandemic

The German Constitutional Court rejected challenges Tuesday to Berlin's participation in the European Union's coronavirus recovery fund, but expressed some reservations about the massive package.

Court turns down AfD-led challenge to Germany's spending in pandemic

Germany last year ratified the €750-billion ($790-billion) fund, which offers loans and grants to EU countries hit hardest by the pandemic.

The court in Karlsruhe ruled on two challenges, one submitted by a former founder of the far-right AfD party, and the other by a businessman.

They argued the fund could ultimately lead to Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, having to take on the debts of other EU member states on a permanent basis.

But the Constitutional Court judges ruled the EU measure does not violate Germany’s Basic Law, which forbids the government from sharing other countries’ debts.

READ ALSO: Germany plans return to debt-limit rules in 2023

The judgement noted the government had stressed that the plan was “intended to be a one-time instrument in reaction to an unprecedented crisis”.

It also noted that the German parliament retains “sufficient influence in the decision-making process as to how the funds provided will be used”.

The judges, who ruled six to one against the challenges, did however express some reservations.

They questioned whether paying out such a large amount over the planned period – until 2026 – could really be considered “an exceptional measure” to fight the pandemic.

At least 37 percent of the funds are aimed at achieving climate targets, the judges said, noting it was hard to see a link between combating global warming and the pandemic.

READ ALSO: Germany to fast-track disputed €200 billion energy fund

They also warned against any permanent mechanism that could lead to EU members taking on joint liability over the long term.

Berenberg Bank economist Holger Schmieding said the ruling had “raised serious doubts whether the joint issuance to finance the fund is in line with” EU treaties.

“The German court — once again — emphasised German limits for EU fiscal integration,” he said.

The court had already thrown out a legal challenge, in April 2021, that had initially stopped Berlin from ratifying the financial package.

Along with French President Emmanuel Macron, then chancellor Angela Merkel sketched out the fund in 2020, which eventually was agreed by the EU’s 27 members in December.

The first funds were disbursed in summer 2021, with the most given to Italy and Spain, both hit hard by the pandemic.

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