Germany to impose virus tests on risk zone arrivals

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The lockdown and social distancing pushed the number of new cases down to as low as 159 in mid-July but numbers have been rising since, fuelled by local outbreaks, including one centered on a slaughterhouse that required restrictions to be placed on the entire town of Guetersloh.

On Thursday, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) registered more than 1,000 new COVID-19 infections within 24 hours in Germany for the first time in three months.

Germany has already mandated that travelers from "high-risk" nations go into quarantine for at least 14 days, unless they can produce a negative test result that is no more than two days old.

Daily figures can be volatile or distorted by delays in reporting, and the number is still far short of the peak of more than 6,000 reached in early April.

"What we're seeing is quite a lot of small outbreaks", Well being Minister Jens Spahn advised reporters. The speed of vacationers testing constructive is as much as twice as excessive as the typical for checks in Germany, he mentioned.

People entering from countries deemed high-risk - now most of the world outside the Europe Union, as well as Luxembourg, parts of northern Spain and the Belgian city of Antwerp - are already required to quarantine for 14 days unless they can present a negative test result no more than two days old.

The country's authorities will require people arriving from a large number of countries deemed high-risk to take coronavirus tests starting on Saturday.

Spahn said the new rule came in a bid to "play it safe", adding that he was "very aware that this is an interference with the freedom of the individual".

The minister dismissed arguments by some politicians that individuals who can afford a trip also needs to need to pay for checks themselves.

Germany classifies nearly all the world outside the European Union as high risk, as well as some regions within the bloc, including Aragon, Catalonia and Navarre in Spain, and Belgium's Antwerp province.

He instructed airline vacationers from exterior the European Union ought to present a current take a look at earlier than they're allowed to board a aircraft to the 27-nation bloc, an concept that would want approval by all European Union member states.

Starting Saturday, travellers from high-risk areas will have to undergo a mandatory COVID-19 test upon their arrival in Germany, Minister of Health Jens Spahn said.

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