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Germany insists UK travel ban will remain in place, despite EU plea to lift it

The Local Germany
The Local Germany - [email protected]
Germany insists UK travel ban will remain in place, despite EU plea to lift it
Passengers waiting at Düsseldorf airport. Photo: DPA

Despite EU urging countries to end blanket flight bans to allow residents from the UK to return home, Germany is keeping its borders closed to all travellers from Britain and Northern Ireland for the time being.

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Germany is not allowing non-residents on passenger flights, busses, trains or ships coming directly from the UK to enter the country until January 6th, the Interior Ministry (BMI) confirmed to The Local on Wednesday morning.

And residents will only be able to return to Germany from the UK from January 1st, said the BMI. The ban applies to those coming directly from the UK by air, sea or land transport.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about Germany's UK travel ban

Travellers entering Germany who have stayed in the UK at any point over the past 10 days will need to take a coronavirus test and quarantine for up to 10 days if they can't show a negative result, according to the BMI. 

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On Tuesday, the European Commission advised its 27 member states to end the flight bans and allow residents of EU countries to return home with immediate effect. 

Heeding the EU message, neighbouring France on Wednesday began accepting passengers from the UK who could present a negative Covid-19 test upon arrival. 

Most EU countries, including Germany, put a ban on flights entering from the UK and South Africa in order to prevent the spread of a new strand of the coronavirus detected in both countries.

READ ALSO: 'Treated like animals': UK passengers held for 15 hours at Hanover airport

"As long as we can, we want to prevent any more dangerous virus variants from spreading to continental Europe," said Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) on Tuesday December 22nd, when Germany's extended travel ban went into effect.

He added: "The ban on transport from Great Britain, Northern Ireland and South Africa is a precautionary measure until we know more about the reported coronavirus mutations in both countries."

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