Germany struck Britain and Northern Ireland from its list of high-risk areas for coronavirus infections on Friday, meaning that travellers from the UK will no longer need to quarantine upon arrival. The change will come into effect on Sunday 18th April.
A plane lands at Frankfurt Airport. Photo: Mr_Worker via Pixabay
Back in December 2020, Germany placed Britain and Northern Ireland on a no-arrival list, following the emergence of the more infectious B.1.1.7 coronavirus strain in the UK. According to the Robert Koch Institut (RKI), the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, including the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and the British Overseas Territories […] is no longer considered as a risk area.” Nevertheless, all arrivals to Germany still need to present a negative PCR test, regardless of the country from which they are arriving.
The RKI’s decision to remove the UK from its risk list shows its recognition of the vastly improved epidemic situation in the UK due to the government’s rapid vaccination campaign, which drove down infections and significantly lowered the 7-day incidence rate.
Additionally, Germany removed Barbados and the Pirkanmaa region of Finland from the risk list. With a few exceptions such as Japan, Israel and Vietnam, most countries are still on Germany’s virus risk list.
Unfortunately, Germany itself is currently struggling to curb its third Covid wave, fuelled by the spread of the more contagious B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant. The German health authorities have reported nearly 26,000 new infections and 247 deaths in the past 24 hours.
So far, Germany has given its first jabs to approximately 18.5% of the population and only 6.4% are fully immunised, placing it far behind the vaccination rates in the UK.
Over the next few months, Germany hopes to accelerate its rollout of vaccinations, through the involvement of family doctors and company medics.