Germany eased test and quarantine travel restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers arriving in the country from designated ‘risk’ and ‘high incidence’ areas on Wednesday after the proposals were approved by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet.
Since March, all travellers entering Germany from countries with high levels of infection had needed to self-isolate for 10-days and provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test. Those rules no longer exist for travellers who can prove they are fully vaccinated against the novel Coronavirus or those who can show they’ve recently recovered from COVID-19.
There are currently 31 countries and territories that are designated as areas of ‘high incidence’ and a much longer list of ‘risk areas’. Tough pre-flight test and quarantine rules will remain in place for travellers coming to Germany from ‘areas of variants of concern’.
India, Brazil and South Africa, as well as seven other African countries are currently designated as ‘areas of variants of concern’ where travellers must quarantine for 14-days regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not.
That’s because the COVID-19 variants in circulation in these countries might be able to evade the current generation of approved vaccines.
The Robert Koch Institute which coordinates Germany’s response to the pandemic could not immediately clarify which vaccines would be approved for quarantine-free entry. The European Commission has recommended that only vaccines approved by the bloc’s healthcare regulator be recognised.
The European Medicines Agency has so far approved four vaccines: Comirnaty (commonly known as the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine), Moderna, Janssen (otherwise known as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) and Vaxzevria (also referred to as the AstraZeneca vaccine).
The World Health Organization (WHO) has approved these four vaccines, as well as the Chinese Sinopharm jab despite concerns about trial data provided by the drugmaker.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.