German health agency Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has stated that it would lift a ban on travellers from five countries hit by the Delta COVID-19 variant- India, Nepal, Russia, the UK and Portugal, adding these countries would be reclassified as "high-incidence areas" from Wednesday (July 7). Germany had put in place a "virus variant country" category to stop new COVID-19 variants from entering their own soil. Countries where variants other than Delta are prevalent-Brazil and South Africa continue to remain in the variant category.
"From tomorrow, Germany is removing the entry ban and easing travel rules for five countries where Delta variant is widespread, including India," German Ambassador to India Walter J Linder said. The switch to high-incidence areas relaxes a ban on non-German travellers' entry implying anyone can enter Germany if they follow quarantine and testing rules. Travellers will have to provide a negative test on arrival and enter 10-day quarantine but can end it in 5 days with another negative test.
Chancellor Angela Merkel had also hinted at softening the position on travellers, especially from Britain. "We think that in foreseeable future, those who have received double jabs will… be able to travel again, without having to go into quarantine," she said. Travellers coming from high-incidence countries do not have to observe quarantine if they are fully vaccinated.
Relaxations on travel curbs come as the overall incidence of the Delta variant has steadily declined in recent weeks. 212 new cases were reported in the past 24 hours and an incidence rate of five new infections per 100,000 people over the last seven days, news agency AFP reported.
Edited by Mehak Agarwal; with agency inputs
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