The Berlin Spectator
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Germany Stops Passenger Transport from U.K. due to New Corona Variant

Germany just put in place a rule which comes close to an entry ban for passengers from the United Kingdom and South Africa. A new version of the Coronavirus identified in England led to the measure.

A more contagious variant of the Coronavirus made the Berlin government stop flights, trains, buses and ships from the United Kingdom and South Africa to Germany. The Health Ministry ordered the measure by decree. It kicks in today and is supposed to remain in place until January 6th, 2021.

Precautionary Measure

On Sunday, Germany had already stopped flights from the U.K.. Arriving passengers needed Corona tests to enter the country. This led to chaotic situations at airports, where passengers affected had to wait until their test results were available. At some of them, several passengers from Great Britain reportedly tested positive. In Brandenburg, at BER Airport, all passengers affected got negative test results and were allowed to enter.

The measure, which seems to be a travel ban from the U.K. and South Africa, was put in place as a precaution, according to Germany’s Health Minister Jens Spahn. He said, the measure would be in place until the government knew more about the more contagious version of the Coronavirus which has been spreading in parts of England and South Africa.

List of Problems

With the recently identified Coronavirus mutation, which is supposed to be far more contagious, the list of problems Germany and countless other countries have was extended further. The fear of the pandemic in general grew, according to a poll. In spite of several versions of a lockdown and other measures Germany took, the ‘old’ version of the virus continues to spread and the situation is deteriorating.

The authorities already lost control. For instance, they cannot trace back this many new Corona infections to their sources. In case the new variant of Corona hits Germany as well, the situation would obviously not exactly improve. The winter experts were afraid of, because they feared an increase of the number of infections, and rightly so, just started yesterday. Nobody knows how Germany, Europe or the world will get through it under these circumstances.

Adherence to Rules

In the meantime, the German police will check the adherence of the Corona rules during the upcoming Christmas days and on New Year’s Eve. For the German Police Union, Jörg Radek told the ‘Süddeutsche Zeitung’ daily, police officers would not enter people’s homes to count the people sitting at the table. The law did not warrant anything of the kind.

But hints about violations would be checked. Radek said the police should not be called prematurely. The first step was to ask people to adhere to the Corona rules. Civil courage was required in this crisis, he stated. The contact restrictions were tightened. Many families and individuals will not be able to celebrate Christmas as usual, with all relatives.

Now that Europe approved the first Corona vaccine, Germany intends to start vaccinating people on December 27th, 2020. There is a priority list according to which vulnerable population groups, but also doctors, hospital staff and caretakers, will be vaccinated first.