Covid19 – Germany imposes travel restrictions on UK due to virus strain from India
Germany will impose fresh restrictions on travelers from the U.K. starting on Sunday due to the rapid spread in Britain of the coronavirus strain first identified in India. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she is deeply concerned about the spread of the variant first detected in India.
Travelers from the U.K. will have to spend two weeks in quarantine upon arrival in Germany even if they test negative for the virus, according to the foreign ministry. In addition, transport companies will only be allowed to bring German citizens back into the country.
Germany had recently eased strict lockdown measures after the incident rate dropped below 100 in most areas. Britain, too, was removed from Germany’s list of risky areas after a fast-paced vaccination campaign and tough lockdowns massively reduced case numbers. The decision to classify Britain as the highest risk area again might effect the presence of Merkel’s delegation at the three-day G-7 summit in Cornwall, which is scheduled to begin on June 11. Journalists have been advised not to travel to the U.K. to cover the event because they would be forced to quarantine afterward.
Germany now classifies Britain as a “virus variant area,” the country’s highest risk category, following a recommendation from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), according to the foreign ministry.
According to a Public Health England (PHS) statement, the number of cases in the United Kingdom due to the B1.617.2 variant stood at 1,313 last week and 520 a week earlier. The number of U.K. cases of a worrying coronavirus variant from India more than doubled for a second week as authorities also monitor a new mutation of the virus, adding fresh doubt to U.K. plans to fully unlock the economy.
Health officials have now detected 3,424 cases of the B1.617.2 variant, also known as VOC-21APR-02, Public Health England said in a statement. That’s up from 1,313 last week, and 520 a week earlier. They’re also investigating a mutation called VUI-21MAY-01, with 49 cases logged so far.