TRAVEL: Germany adds nearly 40 countries to Covid ‘high risk’ list

A person takes luggage through Berlin airport.
A person takes luggage through Berlin airport. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christophe Gateau
Several regions across the world, including Sweden, Israel, Australia and the United Arab Emirates, have been classed as Covid-19 'high risk' areas by Germany.

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) announced on Friday that dozens of countries were being classified as high risk areas because of the Covid situation. 

Among the countries added to the ‘orange list’ are Argentina, Australia, Luxembourg, Sweden, Dubai, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Iceland, Estonia, Ghana, Kenya, Zambia and Israel. 

The full list can be found on the RKI’s page.

As of midnight on Sunday January 9th, people who have stayed in these areas in the previous 10 days before arrival in Germany face stricter entry rules.

What are the rules for ‘high risk’ countries?

Unvaccinated travellers arriving in Germany from these countries have to quarantine for up to 10 days. They can take a Covid test five days into the quarantine at the earliest. If it is negative they can end the quarantine. The local authority usually gives guidance on quarantine and testing to affected travellers on their arrival. 

For children under the age of 12, the self-isolation period automatically ends five days after entry – they do not need to take a test. 

All travellers who have spent time in a risk area (high risk area or area of variants of concern) have to complete the Digital Registration on Entry.

People have to upload proof of a negative Covid-19 test, recovery or a vaccination pass before travel. Fully vaccinated and recovered people don’t have to quarantine as long as they have submitted proof of their documents before entering Germany. 

In total, the number of high-risk zones has now increased to more than 100. This means that about half of all countries worldwide are now seen as Covid high risk areas.

Of Germany’s neighbouring countries, only Austria has not been placed on the orange list. It was recently removed from this group and placed in the no risk or green list category after seeing Covid rates plummet following a lockdown. 

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Classification as a high risk area is linked to a travel warning issued by the Federal Foreign Office urging people in Germany not to visit these regions for non-essential tourist trips.

There are currently no regions on Germany’s red list. Last week Germany removed a number of countries from the ‘virus variant areas of concern’ list including South Africa and the United Kingdom. 

Only German nationals and people with residence rights are allowed to enter Germany from countries on the red list. They must also quarantine for 14 days upon arrival back in Germany – regardless of their vaccination status. 

They also have to show a negative Covid test before being allowed to board a flight to Germany.

READ ALSO: How removing the UK from ‘virus variant list’ affects you

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