Due to the increase in Omicron infections, Germany has classified the United Kingdom as an area of variant of concern, putting the UK into the highest risk category as defined by German officials. On Saturday, the Robert Koch Institute revealed that starting from today, Germany will ask all UK travelers to quarantine for two weeks. The restrictions will also apply to the British territories of the Isle of Wight and Channel Islands. The rule applies to all people traveling to Germany from virus-variant areas, regardless of whether travelers are vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 or present a negative Covid-19 test.
Virus-variant areas and high-risk areas
Germany’s Health Ministry defines areas of variants of concern as regions where the diffusion of the variant can pose a serious risk. This occurs in places where the variant causes more severe symptoms, or where the vaccination or recovery from the virus offers limited protection. People who enter Germany from “virus-variant” areas have to face stricter restrictions than travelers from simply “high-risk” areas. The UK, together with several southern African countries, fall in this category as they are struggling to contain the spread of the new variant. On Friday, the UK reported a record number of more than 93,000 new coronavirus infections, while on Saturday, new cases were just over 90,000.
Travelers entering Germany from high-risk areas are subject to a 10-day quarantine period, which can be reduced to five days if they show a negative Covid-29 test result. Travelers from high-risk regions who have been fully vaccinated or have already recovered from the coronavirus do not need to quarantine. As of today, all countries neighboring Germany except for Luxembourg are considered high-risk areas. The list of high-risk areas also includes many other countries in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Criteria to be included in the list are the number of coronavirus cases, the rate of the virus’ spread, and the burden imposed by the virus on the healthcare system.