As of today, Germany is changing the way it classifies countries in the ongoing Corona crisis. From the three categories there used to be, two are left. The entry rules for Germany just changed as well.
Berlin, August 1st, 2021 (The Berlin Spectator) — Until yesterday, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Berlin worked with three categories of countries. The RKI followed the data from around the world and categorized countries depending on their Seven Day Incidence and the Coronavirus mutations which dominated them. Then it was up to the Ministry to change those travel warning accordingly and spam everyone’s inboxes with a gazillion updates per day.
Two “Virus Variant Areas”
There used to be normal countries, ‘Risk Areas’, ‘High Incidence Areas’ and ‘Virus Variant Areas’, apart from normal countries that did not fit any of these classifications because their infection numbers were low. Starting today, two categories are left: There are “High Risk Areas” and “Virus Variant Areas”. At this stage, there are only two of the latter, namely Brazil and Uruguay. And there are 43 “High Risk Areas”, from Andorra to the United Kingdom.
Obviously, Germany does not want the virus mutations that dominate “Virus Variant Areas” to spread on its turf. In some cases, attempts to keep them out of Germany failed. This applies to the Delta variant, which was reported in India first and came in via the United Kingdom. By now, it is Germany’s main variant as well. In the case of “High Risk Areas”, the chance returning travelers might bring in infections is elevated. “Risk Areas” are not really necessary anymore because the entire world is one, including Germany itself. That is why they were scrapped.
Corona Tests or Vaccination Certificates
There is a general passenger transport ban from “Virus Variant Areas”, but exceptions apply. German citizens and holders of residence permits may enter Germany from there, but they have to go into quarantine for 14 days, no matter how many vaccination certificates they have. Persons who enter Germany from “High Risk Areas” have to go into quarantine for ten days. After a minimum of five days, they may end their quarantine with a negative Corona PCR test. Vaccinated people and individuals who had COVID-19 up to six months ago are exempt.
Germany also changed its entry rules: So far, all airline passengers generally needed vaccination certificates, documents which proved they were cured from COVID-19 within the past six months, or negative Corona tests. The same documents were required for persons who came in from the “High Incidence Areas” Germany used to list. From today, absolutely everyone who enters Germany from anywhere, including “normal” countries, “High Risk Areas” or Mars, need those documents, no matter what means of transport they use. All persons who come in from “Virus Variant Areas” or “High Risk Areas” are required to register online on this website.
Spot Checks on the Autobahn
By changing the rules accordingly, Germany intends to curb the import of Corona infections. In the case of airline passengers, everyone will be checked. Travelers who come in by car, bus, train or ship will have to expect spot checks. They may not be checked at the border, but police might stop them on the Autobahn to look at their documents, including Corona tests and vaccination certificates. Individuals who do not follow the Corona rules when they enter Germany have to pay hefty fines.
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