Germany Removes India from Red Zone: Germany’s Health Agency

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With rising cases of Delta variants, Germany banned flights of India this April, and only German citizens were allowed to travel back to the country. The new rule means anyone will be able to enter as long as they observe quarantine and testing rules, Germany’s health agency said on Monday.

Germany has reclassified few countries, including India, as “high-incidence areas”, removing them from the red zone list of countries with a high caseload of Delta variant of coronavirus. In addition, RKI, The Robert Koch Institute, announced India, Nepal, Russia, Portugal and the UK, currently registered as so-called virus variant countries, would be reclassified from Wednesday as “high-incidence areas”.

Germany earlier launched its “virus variant country” travel level in a proposal to stop new coronavirus variants that have not yet grown widely on home soil. However, Chancellor Angela Merkel also mentioned a potential weakening in Germany’s stance towards passengers from Britain during a visit to London on Friday.

Last month, Merkel had asked for strict restrictions, including more extensive quarantine, for people travelling from Britain, where the Delta modification has caused a flood in cases. But she showed that the stand could soften as travel information was reviewed.

She thought that those who have received double jabs would… be able to travel again without having to go into quarantine in the foreseeable future. Only citizens and residents of Germany are permitted to enter from a variant country and are subject to a two-week quarantine, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated or can provide a negative Covid-19 test. By contrast, anyone can enter from a high-incidence country as long as they give a negative test on arrival. Thus, they must, in principle, enter a 10-day quarantine but can end it after five days with another negative test.

Travellers from high-incidence regions are also exempt from quarantine if they have been fully vaccinated. Countries where variants other than Delta are circulating, like Brazil and South Africa, remain in the variant class.

Earlier, Germany and Italy had banned entrance for travellers from India due to an upsurge in Coronavirus cases. The decision meant that now only nationals and owners of German residence permits travelling from India were permitted to enter Germany’s territory. However, the flights between both nations were not suspended, despite the rise in the number of infections in India. All persons who wished to travel from India to Germany to transit to any Schengen Zone country were authorised to do so only if they were German nationals or owners of a German resident permit.

Transit to any nation that was not part of the Schengen Zone will be permitted for all nationalities. All persons who held German short and long term visas were not eligible to enter Germany. Italian residents then, in India, were permitted to return if they held a negative test result before departure and arrival when they required to undergo quarantine. Students on a new German student visa who did not have a residence permit in Germany were not permitted to enter their territory.

Besides Germany and Italy, Maldives and Bangladesh had also taken the same measures, prohibiting all persons who had been in India from entering the country. Such a decision had been announced by Maldives Tourism Minister, stressing that the government will temporarily suspend travelling from India to the Maldives. India was the second most affected country worldwide by Coronavirus disease, with over 17,748,607 registered cases and 198,597 deaths till a few months back.

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