Germany is quarantining travelers from the UK for two weeks because of the Indian variant

Germany will quarantine people coming from Britain for the spread of the coronavirus variant first found in India there, health institute Robert Koch said Friday.

Starting Sunday, all travelers arriving from the UK will have to submit to a two-week quarantine period, regardless of whether they can give a negative test result for the virus.

Only German nationals and residents of Germany are allowed to enter Great Britain, and air, train and bus companies are prohibited from transporting all other passengers out of the country.

The Robert Koch Institute is a government agency and its recommendations will be automatically adopted by the German government.

Only eleven other countries, in Asia, Africa and Latin America, are currently listed by Germany in the risk category of zones where virus variants circulate.

Indian variant B.1.617.2 is considered to be particularly contagious and was one of the factors triggering the explosion of coronavirus infections in India in recent months.

According to UK Health Minister Matt Hancock, speaking on Wednesday, 2,967 cases linked to the variant have been identified in the UK, particularly in London and the West of England. That figure represents a 30 percent increase since Monday.

But so far, the UK government has insisted on staying on track to lift virtually all restrictions on public life starting June 21, following a successful vaccination campaign.

Prevent Indian variety from spreading

Earlier Friday, German Health Minister Jens Spahn expressed concern about the situation in Britain, stressing the need to prevent the spread of the Indian variety in Germany.

Many Germans were able to visit a beer garden, dine or swim outdoors for the first time in months on Friday, when parts of the country began to ease Covid-19’s curbs.

Spahn said Germany has broken through the third wave of infections, but urged the public to remain cautious.

“The pandemic isn’t over yet. Let’s enjoy the holidays, but let’s be careful,” he said, advising people to meet outside whenever possible and get tested regularly.

“Infection rates are falling, vaccination rates are rising – if we can handle this combination in the coming weeks, we can look forward to a good summer.”

The Robert Koch Institute registered 8,769 new cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours and 226 deaths on Friday, with a nationwide incidence rate of 67.3 new infections per 100,000 people in the past seven days.

(AFP)

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