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Germany Declares 33 Countries ‘High Risk Areas’

The Federal Republic of Germany is a dangerous place with exploding infection numbers itself. Still, it just extended its list of ‘High Risk Areas’ by adding as many as 33 other countries. This has implications for travelers.

Berlin, January 16th, 2022 (The Berlin Spectator) — The following countries and regions were just added to Germany’s list of ‘High Risk Areas’: Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Austria (except for the communities Mittelberg, Jungholz and Risstal) Benin, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, France’s overseas department St. Pierre and Miquelon, Gambia, Guyana, Latvia, Liberia, Madagascar, the Netherlands’ overseas department St. Maarten, Niger, North Macedonia, Peru, the Philippines, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, São Tomé and Príncipe , Senegal, Serbia, Somalia and Suriname. This has to do with rapidly increasing Corona infection numbers there. This list contains one of Germany’s nine neighbors. The other eight already were ‘High Risk Areas’ before today, which means all of them are.

Incidence Above 500

Persons who enter Germany from ‘High Risk Areas’, and those who have recently been to any of them, need to register online (website in 15 languages) beforehand. They also need to be vaccinated against Corona or have a fresh and negative PCR test. Individuals who recently recovered from COVID-19 may enter as well. Vaccinated travelers or those who recently recovered from the disease caused by the Coronavirus do not have to go into quarantine if they submitted their data to the registration website. Everyone else has to go straight into quarantine for ten days. After five days, they can end their isolation if they test negative. Persons who return from ‘Virus Variant Areas’ need to stay in quarantine for 14 days, no matter what. But, at this stage, there are no ‘Virus Variant Areas’ because the Omicron mutation which was supposed to be kept out already dominates Germany.

Germany’s Seven Day Incidence just reached a new all-time high. It is 515.7, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). In earlier Corona waves, Germans were shocked when the Incidence approached 200. Now, it is two and a half times as high. Experts believe it will increase a lot more. In the past 24 hours, 52,504 new Corona infections were registered, about 14,000 more than last Sunday. Bremen (Incidence 1,401.2) and Berlin (965.3) remain the Federal Republic’s Corona hotspots. Berlin’s Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district has the highest Incidence reported anywhere in Germany. It stands at 1,644.3. The situation in Neukölln (1,418.5), the Mitte district (1,353.5) and Reinickendorf (1,190.5) is alarming as well.

‘Alphabet of Corona Variants’

Frankfurt am Main’s Incidence is close to 1,000. Other places with extremely high infection numbers are Lübeck, Kiel, Segeberg, Potsdam, Flensburg, Hamburg, München, Ingolstadt, Baden-Baden and Darmstadt. The list goes on and on. Last week, the federal government and the federal states agreed to stricter Corona rules. This week, most states implemented them. In the city state of Berlin, the quarantine rules for persons who were in contact with infected individuals, and those who are infected themselves, changed on Friday. Tightened restrictions for those who intend to enter restaurants, cultural venues and similar locations were put in place yesterday.

At this stage, Germany is discussing compulsory Corona vaccinations. There are several possible approaches. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach told the ‘Bild am Sonntag’ weekly, those mandatory immunizations should include three shots, namely the first two doses of vaccine and a booster shot. That way, people would be protected against all Corona mutations, at least in regard to severe disease progression and death. He also stated the “alphabet of Corona variants” would probably not end with Omicron. The latter mutant is now dominating Germany, with a share of about 70 percent of all new infections. It is being blamed for the skyrocketing infection numbers. According to the Minister, Germany will go through several very difficult weeks.

Less Corona Patients in ICUs

But, at least for now, the number of COVID-19 patients in Germany’s intensive care units is decreasing because Omicron is “milder” than the Delta variant. Still, Germany’s experts fear the number of hospitalizations and Corona-related deaths will rise substantially because the large number of people Omicron infections will neutralize the mildness aspect.

Looking for the daily Corona update for Germany? Find it here.
Corona Chronology for Germany, 2022 (from Dec. 22nd, 2021)
Corona Chronology for Germany, 2021
Corona Chronology for Germany, 2020

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