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COVID-19

Greece, Corsica and Crete removed from Germany’s high-risk list

Germany's Robert Koch Institute is set to scrub popular holiday destinations of Greece, Corsica and Crete from its high-risk list on Sunday, as most regions of France also become 'risk free'.

Greece, Corsica and Crete removed from Germany's high-risk list
The island of Crete is set to be removed from Germany's high-risk list, paving the way for easier travel. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/XinHua | Lefteris Partsalis

In France, only the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region and some overseas territories will remain on the list from next week, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI)

On Sunday at midnight, a large part of South America will also become ‘risk-free’ once more as Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, Ecuador and Peru are removed from the list.

In addition, Oman and Namibia will be taken off the list. 

The move will make it much easer for unvaccinated travellers to return from these regions to Germany, since people who are not vaccinated or recovered generally have to quarantine for 10 days on their return to the Bundesrepublik

READ ALSO: Germany declares Greece and the Netherlands Covid ‘risk’ zones

This can be shortened to five days with a negative test. 

However, keep in mind that there are still restrictions on which travellers can enter Germany from non-EU countries. The general requirement is that people need to be fully vaccinated against Covid with a vaccine approved in the EU. 

READ ALSO: Can unvaccinated children travel to Germany?

Norway added to ‘high risk’ list

While the Mediterranean islands are getting the ‘risk free’ treatment, there’s worse news for visitors to Scandinavia as the the Norwegian provinces of Oslo and Viken are set to be upgraded to RKI’s high-risk list from Sunday.

Bosnia-Herzegovina, Nicaragua and Grenada are also set to be reclassified as high risk.

Since the start of August, Germany’s public health authority has veered away from classifying countries solely on the basis of infection rates. It now considers other factors such as speed of the spread of the virus, the burden on the health system and the access to data on the Covid health situation. 

People entering Germany from countries on the high risk list have to fill out the Einreiseanmeldung online form.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Could drivers in Germany fund a future €9 ticket scheme?

Germany's much-talked about €9 ticket offer ends later this month. But a think tank has suggested that a toll system for drivers could provide funding to subsidise public transport, as well as to upgrade the roads network.

Could drivers in Germany fund a future €9 ticket scheme?

It is the main sticking point for reduced price travel continuing in Germany after the €9 ticket expires at the end of August – where would the money come from?

Now a group of experts have a proposal on how it could be funded in the future – and it involves car drivers. 

In a study, the think tank Centrum für Europäische Politik (CEP) presented a concept for a general car toll, the revenue from which could be used to finance the costs of a permanent €9 ticket for local transport.

In the paper, which was made available to German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, the authors propose a route-dependent toll system throughout Germany – i.e. not only on Autobahns or country roads, but on all roads. This could be made possible by a satellite-based recording of the kilometres driven.

Furthermore, there would be differences in the prices per kilometre depending on the vehicle class, in order to reflect the different loads on the infrastructure caused by the weight and exhaust emissions of the vehicles.

READ ALSO:

The CEP calculated a surcharge of 6.9 cents per kilometre, however, there is currently an upper limit of four cents in Europe. The researchers suggest standardising the different toll systems that are used in European countries.

According to the study, revenue from the toll, amounting to around €12 billion, could initially be used to cover maintenance costs and to reduce the investment backlog in road transport. In this way, the acceptance of the levy among motorists could also be increased, the experts said.

However, the indirect consequential costs of car traffic, such as exhaust fumes and noise, should also be compensated. The report authors said the funds could therefore also used to expand public transport or to finance a permanent €9 ticket. 

The ticket, which is valid in all public transport networks in Germany – including on regional trains – currently costs around €2.5 billion for three months.

The suggestion comes after an attempt to introduce a car toll in Germany that only foreign drivers would have paid because German drivers were to be reimbursed failed under the previous federal government. The European Court of Justice rejected it as discrimination against foreign drivers. 

Tax excess profits of companies 

Meanwhile, Social Democrat leader Lars Klingbeil has said a follow-up ticket to the €9 offer could be funded by an ‘excess profits tax’.

“We have just seen that the €9 ticket makes sense, that it is accepted, that the citizens also want the extension,” Klingbeil told the radio station NDR Info.

With the excess profits tax, he said, the financing of a successor model could also be pushed forward.

The excess profits tax is intended for companies that profit from the energy crisis without making any contribution of their own. In Britain, for example, oil and gas companies have to pay a temporary 25 per cent tax on their extra profits. In Germany’s traffic light coalition, the Greens are also in favour of a supplementary tax, while the pro-business FDP rejects it.

FDP leader and Finance Minister Christian Lindner has repeatedly rejected an immediate follow-up to the €9 ticket, blaming finance woes.

At the weekend Lindner slammed the “freebie mentality” surrounding the ticket, and said continuing it with funding from the government wouldn’t be fair anyway. 

“People in the countryside who don’t have a train station nearby and depend on the car would subsidise cheap local transport,” he said. “I don’t think that’s fair,”

READ ALSO:

Vocabulary

Car toll – (die) Pkw-Maut

Local transport – (der) Nahverkehr

Revenue – (die) Einnahmen

Freebie mentality – (die) Gratismentalität

We’re aiming to help our readers improve their German by translating vocabulary from some of our news stories. Did you find this article useful? Let us know.

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