Travel: Germany adds four EU countries to Covid ‘high risk’ list

Closed restaurants in central Amsterdam
Restaurants stand closed in the centre of Amsterdam as tough measures come in to combat the fourth wave. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/ANP | Robin Van Lonkhuijsen
Unvaccinated travellers from Belgium, Ireland, Greece and the Netherlands will have to self-isolate for up to ten days on arrival in Germany as the Robert Koch Institute adds four new EU countries to its list of risk areas.

As of Sunday, November 21st, people visiting Germany from each of the four countries will be subject to strict entry rules.

Under guidance from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), all travellers from the Netherlands, Belgium, Greece and Ireland now have to register on Germany’s Digital Entry Portal and upload proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test before entering the country. 

Those who can’t present proof of vaccination or recovery will be legally obliged to head straight to their destination in Germany and self-isolate there for up to ten days.

This time can be shortened by submitting a negative test on or after the fifth day of quarantine.

Germany is currently in the grip of a ferocious wave of Covid infections, with the Robert Koch Institute reporting a weekly incidence of almost 400 cases per 100,000 people on Tuesday.

In the Netherlands and Belgium, however, the 7-day incidence is twice as high as it is in Germany.

According to the latest data compiled by Reuters, the Netherlands is currently seeing 871 new weekly Covid cases per 100,000 people, while Belgium is seeing more than 840 per 100,000 people. 

The governments of both countries have recently moved to tighten up Covid restrictions, prompting large demonstrations against the measures that ended in violent altercations between protestors and police. 

In Greece, meanwhile, the 7-day incidence is marginally higher than in Germany at 442 weekly cases per 100,000 people, while Ireland is currently seeing 639 new infections per 100,000 people per week. 

Austrian travel ban

The upgrade of the four EU countries comes a week after neighbouring Austria was also bumped onto Germany’s high-risk list.

Amid soaring case numbers in the German-speaking nation, the Robert Koch Institute moved Austria onto its list of Covid risk zones on November 13th. 

On Monday, the country entered a national Covid lockdown – the first seen in Europe for several months – which involves a ban on non-essential travel into the country. 

Under the conditions of the lockdown, which is due to run until at least December 13th, no travel into Austria for touristic purposes is permitted. 

The southern regions of Bavaria that run along the Austrian border have become Covid hotspots in Germany in recent weeks, prompting state premier Markus Söder to recently announce a partial lockdown and cancel upcoming Christmas markets.

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