TRAVEL: Germany places 19 regions on ‘high risk’ list

TRAVEL: Germany places 19 regions on 'high risk' list
A cyclist rides along the promenade in the coastal city of Marseilles. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/AFP | Nicolas Tucat
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) added almost 20 countries and regions to its high-risk list earlier this week, including several popular holiday destinations. Here's what you need to know.

Having introduced sweeping reforms to testing and travel rules at the start of August – including dispensing with the ‘basic risk’ area category – the number of countries on the ‘high risk’ list is growing rapidly.

As of Sunday, 8th August, popular tourist destinations such as Morocco, Mexico, the Philippines, Thailand as well as Trinidad and Tobago and Vietnam were all classed as high-risk areas.

In addition, a number of African and Asian countries, where vaccination rates tend to be lower, have also been placed on the list.

These include Algeria, Bangladesh, Haiti, Honduras, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Senegal and Uzbekistan. 

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The high-risk list was formerly known as the high-incidence list and classified solely on the basis of the 7-day incidence of Covid infections per 100,000 people.

Now, the definition has been expanded to include other clinical factors that might affect how risky it is to travel.

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Countries and regions that are placed on the high-risk are subject to a travel warning, and unvaccinated or recovered travellers must quarantine for at least five days when they return from these areas (or ten days without a negative test).

People entering or returning to Germany from these areas must also register on the Digital Entry Portal and submit their proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test in order to be allowed into the country.

South of France becomes high-risk area

The only European regions to be bumped up to the high-risk list on Sunday were the Occitanie and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur regions of France, as well as the French island of Corsica.

These southern regions, which include coastal cities such as Montpellier and Marseille as well as the historic city of Toulouse, are popular magnets for tourists in the summer season.

In addition to these holiday hotspots, the French overseas territories of Guadeloupe, Martinique, Réunion, St. Martin and St. Barthélemy have also been upgraded. 

In light of spiralling infection rates, these regions now join Andorra, Britain, Portugal, Russia, Spain and Cyprus as part of a handful of European jurisdictions on the RKI’s high-risk list.

Netherlands no longer on high incidence list 

Though the high-risk list is growing week-on-week, the Netherlands was removed from the RKI’s list of risk areas on Sunday. 

The country’s infections rates had been rising at an alarming pace in the early weeks of July due to the highly infectious Delta variant, but have declined again in recent weeks. 

However, under new rules introduced at the start of July, travellers returning from the Netherlands – regardless of whether they travel by plane, car or rail – will still need to supply a negative test or proof of vaccination or recovery before entering Germany. 

READ ALSO: Holidaymakers travelling by car and train stopped for Covid test checks at German borders

An up-to-date list of the latest risk areas and travel rules can be found here on the RKI’s website


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