On Monday Germany reopened its borders to travellers coming from the UK and Portugal, as well as several other countries, repealing a ban which had previously been instituted because of Covid-19 concerns.
1. New rules
The easing of travel restrictions saw the UK, Portugal, India, Nepal and Russia all downgraded from ‘areas of variant concern’ to ‘high incidence areas.’ Travellers from these countries had been previously barred from entering Germany unless they were German residents, whilst German residents returning from these countries had to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. However, according to the new rules, fully vaccinated travellers from these countries can now enter Germany without quarantine, whilst others will still have to self-isolate but can end their quarantine early with a negative Covid-19 test.
2. Previous criticisms
Germany had faced criticism on the previous travel ban, with Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa having last Sunday called Germany’s rules “particularly restrictive.” Meanwhile Chancellor Angela Merkel had criticised Portugal for allowing travellers in from the UK, where the Delta variant is surging. However now Merkel is allowing British travellers into Germany, despite the Delta variant continuing to rise in daily case numbers un the UK. There were 27,334 new infections recorded on Monday, the UK’s highest level since February, however British Prime Minister Boris Johnson insists England will soon move to lift all of its Covid-19 restrictions.