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Germany eases travel restrictions for travel from India, UK, Portugal

According to new norms, people who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 coming from ‘high incidence’ areas do not have to be quarantined.

The German government on Monday has decided to ease strict restrictions on travel from the UK, India, and three other countries that were imposed because of the rise of the more contagious delta virus variant.

The Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s national disease control centre, said that Britain, Portugal, Russia, India, and Nepal will be removed from the country’s highest risk category of virus variant areas. And moved into the second-highest category of high-incidence areas effective from Wednesday.

The government has announced that the entry ban currently in place will be lifted. According to new norms, people who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 coming from ‘high incidence’ areas do not have to be quarantined. They can also show their proof of vaccination/recovery before boarding a flight to Germany instead of a negative Covid test, it said.

However, as per the present rules in Germany, the government has allowed only its citizens to enter the country from a variant nation and are subjected to two-week quarantine, regardless of their vaccination status. Now, with the “high-incidence areas” status, it will allow anyone from such countries to enter Germany provided they produce a negative test on arrival and quarantine on arrival for 10 days. The quarantine period can be shortened to five days if they test negative for Covid-19.

In a bid to stop the entry of new coronavirus variants,  Germany has introduced its virus variant country travel category. But Health Minister Jens Spahn had said the Delta variant was fast becoming dominant in Germany, meaning that bans on most travellers from countries hit by that variant may be lifted. Also, Chancellor Angela Merkel had hinted at a potential softening in Germany’s stance towards travellers from Britain during a visit to London on Friday.

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Meanwhile, countries where variants other than Delta are circulating, such as Brazil and South Africa, remain in the variant category.

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