Top state health officials in Germany have warned that tourists returning to Germany from high-risk countries, could be carrying the virus. The officials were concerned about travelers coming back from countries in southern Europe, namely in the Mediterranean.
Despite an ongoing debate about checks ahead of travel, a plan for mandatory Covid-19 tests at airports has been met with some resistance.
Fresh talks took place on July 24th between federal and state health ministers over whether to impose mandatory coronavirus testing on those travelers coming back from those countries. Covid-19 testing booths at German airports, as well as making those tests mandatory, are some of the proposals being considered by ministers.
Covid-19 testing booths are operating at both, Munich and Frankfurt airports. There is, however, currently no mandatory rule indicating that passengers are to take those tests before boarding.
Germany has put in place guidelines for people coming back from a holiday trip. Special attention is being given to the high-risk countries, as identified by the Robert Koch Institute. Turkey is one of Germany’s most popular holiday destinations, and is currently on the Robert Koch Institute’s red list. Other countries include Egypt, Israel and the US.
People returning to Germany are supposed to accept a 14-day quarantine at home. They also need to register with the local health authority. An exception may be granted if a proof of a negative Covid-19. The test must be less than 48 hours old.
Questions still remain over the costs. Should travelers pay for the tests? Should the rule be extended to holidaymakers returning by land or sea borders too?
One of the points currently causing some stir is regarding the entities who could be vested to carry out the testing. The German Airports Association (ADV) has stated that its staff is not authorized to conduct those kinds of tests.
Health ministers have also been discussing which type of test ought to be used. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is one of the most commonly used but one of its main drawbacks is that the tests will not show if a person has been recently infected as the virus load is still low. Discussions among ministers are still ongoing.