Portugal, Britain and Northern Ireland, Russia, India and Nepal will be removed from the ‘virus variant’ list from Wednesday. They will be classed as ‘high incidence’ areas instead, the Robert Koch Institute announced on Monday evening.
It means that the entry ban currently in place will be lifted. Meanwhile, people who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 coming from ‘high incidence’ areas do not have to quarantine. They can also show their proof of vaccination/recovery before boarding a flight to Germany instead of a negative Covid test.
People coming from ‘high incidence’ areas who aren’t vaccinated have to provide a negative Covid test before departure to Germany, and quarantine for 10 days on arrival with the option to end it after five days with a negative Covid test.
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Last week Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested that Germany would soon relax travel rules on people arriving from the UK due to the Delta variant being widespread in both countries.
“We think that in the foreseeable future those who have received double jabs will then according to our classification… be able to travel again without going into quarantine,” she had said.
What are the rules for ‘virus variant’ areas?
In total, Germany has three risk categories – virus variant, high incidence and basic risk area.
India was classified as a virus variant area at the end of April, followed by Nepal and the UK in May. The EU country Portugal, as well as Russia, were added to the list on June 29th.
In the highest Covid risk category for virus variants, drastic entry restrictions apply. These are:
– Airlines, bus and train companies are not allowed to transport people from virus-variant areas to Germany unless they are German citizens or have residence in Germany.
– Anyone entering Germany from virus-variant areas must quarantine for 14 days – even if he or she is fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid.
Earlier in June the EU summit in Brussels, Merkel had pushed in vain for common travel rules in the EU to curb the spread of the Delta variant.
However, experts say this variant is also widespread in Germany, even if the infection figures in the Bundesrepublik are significantly lower than in Portugal and the UK.
With the downgrading of the five countries, the number of ‘virus variant areas’ worldwide drops from 16 to 11. Among the remaining countries in the highest risk category are Brazil, Uruguay, South Africa and several other countries in Africa.