Germany has joined the list of European countries that have recently tightened travel restrictions for arrivals from the United Kingdom amid fears of Coronavirus’ Omicron variant.
Authorities in Germany have now banned most arrivals from Britain, obliging them to present a negative result of the COVID-19 test and follow 14-days mandatory quarantine rules, regardless of their vaccination status, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
According to the data provided by the German agency for disease prevention and control Robert-Koch Institute, the UK is now classified UK as a variant area of concern, meaning that the latter is considered highly affected by the COVID-19, especially the Omicron variant.
Besides the UK, Germany’s list of countries considered highly affected by the virus includes Denmark, Andorra, Norway, Lebanon and France, travel from which countries will also be banned.
Such a decision means that all persons from the countries mentioned above who have not completed their immunization process against the virus as well as unrecovered passengers from these territories will be subject to stricter entry requirements, including a mandatory negative result of the COVID-19 test, taken pre-departure or self-isolation requirement upon their arrival.
The UK Health Security Agency on December 17 announced that the territory recorded 24,968 infection cases related to COVID-19′ Omicron variants.
Besides, on December 16, the UK reported seven death cases caused by the Omicron variant.
Such figures led authorities in Germany to impose stricter preventive measures in order to stop an increase in the number of infections related to the Omicron variant.
In this regard, German Health Minister, Karl Lauterbach, has stressed that he expected the COVID-19’s new variant to unleash a “massive fifth wave” of the pandemic, as reported by BBC.
During a press conference, the Minister also stressed that Germany had to prepare for a new challenge “that we have never seen in this form before” while stressing that “more we can push back… the better”.
Lauterbach warned of a “massive fifth wave” as a result of the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.
Even though this variant may be milder compared to others, “this might keep deaths low for two to three weeks before the growth of the virus would eat up this advantage,” the Minister pointed out.
According to the data provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), Germany has reported over 6,721,300 cases of COVID-19 infection since the start of the pandemic and 107,639 deaths related to the virus.
The same source shows that in the last seven days, 297,855 people in Germany have tested positive for the virus, while 2,643 people have died during the same period.