Test obligation before air travel to Germany: What holiday returnees need to know now – politics


Many people have a great desire for sun, sand and sea. After months of lockdown, Germany is ready for a vacation. But the German government is worried about the threat of waves of travel at Easter. Mainly because thousands of German vacationers fly to the Spanish island of Mallorca, for which testing obligations were initially no longer applicable due to the lower number of infections.

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But more contagious virus variants and their worldwide distribution make travel a risk. The danger that more dangerous mutants will be introduced is too great. The federal and state governments have therefore introduced a general obligation to test before air travel to Germany.

The Federal Ministry of Health has explained on its website to whom the new rule applies and what travelers have to observe. An overview:

Who has to be tested?

In principle, the obligation to test applies to all people who want to travel to Germany by plane. It is mandatory to have a test before departure. Crews are excluded. This basically applies to entries from all countries, even if these are not designated as risk areas.

Travelers by car, bus or other means of transport only need to show a test if they come from a risk area. The Federal Foreign Office explains which countries this currently applies to on its website.

When do travelers have to be tested?

The new regulation will come into force on Tuesday at midnight. From then on: “If you do not have a negative test, you will not be taken,” said Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) on Friday.

The start has been postponed a bit to give airlines more time to prepare. First of all, the general test obligation decided by the federal and state governments should come into force on Sunday night, and now on Monday night.

What kind of tests are valid?

PCR laboratory tests or rapid tests with a certificate of the result are required. The smear must have been taken a maximum of 48 hours before entry. Holidaymakers have to pay for this out of their own pockets.

Where and by whom are the tests carried out?

Travelers can be tested at approved locations abroad. However, not all countries have sufficient test offers and capacities available, warn travel associations. As it was said from industry circles, Cuba, the Maldives and the Dominican Republic could be affected.

If it is not possible for travelers to get a test certificate, airlines should also be able to offer tests. The travel company TUI announced that it would make tests possible at the holiday destination. For this purpose, test offers in own hotels and Robinson clubs should be expanded in a few days.

What happens if the test is positive?

If the corona test is positive, you have to go into quarantine at your own risk according to local regulations – and usually bear the costs yourself.

Who controls the compulsory test?

The airline should check whether you have a negative test certificate. If they violate this, they face fines. In addition, checks by the federal police when entering Germany and by health authorities are possible.

Why does the mandatory test make sense?

The number of corona cases is increasing sharply in Germany. The President of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) warned on Friday of an escalation of the situation and an overload of the health system. “We are at the beginning of the third wave. There are very clear signals that this wave can become even worse than the first two waves,” said Lothar Wieler on Friday.

With regard to the number of conceivable new infections, he said: “That could also be 100,000 per day.”

In addition, experts expressed concern that there could be the particularly contagious Corona variant P1 on the Spanish island of Mallorca, where a particularly large number of Germans are currently traveling. According to the Ministry of Health, the obligation to test is a precautionary measure in order to prevent the virus from spreading through vacation trips, and also to protect the passengers in the machines. It should initially apply up to and including May 12th. (Tsp)

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Test obligation air travel Germany holiday returnees politics


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