The German Minister of Health Jens Spahn has announced that a general test obligation for air travel to Germany will be introduced from Tuesday.
All flight passengers who want to travel to Germany from next Tuesday must present a negative corona test before departure. The beginning will be postponed a bit to give more time for preparation, said Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (40, CDU) on Friday in Berlin.
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. “Those who do not have a negative test will not be taken,” said Spahn. This is a precautionary measure to prevent the virus from spreading through vacation trips and also protects the passengers in the machines.
Tests have to be paid for by yourself
The test obligation should initially apply up to and including May 12th – not only for the recently heavily discussed return flights of thousands of German holidaymakers from Mallorca, but in general. And only for flights, not for travel by other means of transport. Crews are excluded.
PCR laboratory tests or rapid tests with a certificate of the result are required. Holidaymakers have to pay for this out of their own pocket. You can have tests done at approved bodies abroad, according to the Ministry of Health. The result must be there before departure so that it can be presented to the airline. The smear must have been taken a maximum of 48 hours before entry. If it is not possible for travelers to get a test certificate, airlines should also be able to offer tests.
Airlines called for
With the somewhat later start, the airlines should be given longer time to organize test offers abroad, where they do not yet exist, said Spahn. According to the airlines, this is “in the vast majority of destinations” but also possible on Sunday. The Federal Association of the German Aviation Industry welcomed the longer lead time, which nevertheless remains “extremely short”. The airlines wanted to support the global implementation and inform passengers, but this would require considerable operational precautions.
The association warned that there would not be sufficient test offers and capacities available at all destinations. It was therefore suggested that, in exceptional cases, travelers should be tested at the destination airport immediately after arriving in Germany. “We ask politicians to take up this constructive proposal in order to prevent passengers from stranding in countries with inadequate test infrastructure.” As it was said from industry circles, Cuba, the Maldives and the Dominican Republic could be affected. In general, travel restrictions from non-risk countries should remain an exception.
Test Pflicht Weighing Virus Variants
Chancellor Angela Merkel and the prime ministers decided on mandatory testing on Monday. Because more contagious virus variants and their worldwide distribution showed that travel must continue to be “limited to the absolutely necessary minimum”. The background was also a fuss about the fact that thousands of German vacationers flew to the Spanish island of Mallorca, for which testing obligations were no longer applicable due to the lower number of infections.
If the corona test turns out positive, you have to go into quarantine at your own risk according to local regulations – and usually bear the costs yourself. The airline should check whether you have a negative test certificate. In addition, checks by the federal police when entering Germany and by health authorities are possible. 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.
There are already test obligations for travelers – but only when returning from certain countries with a high risk of infection, determined according to an individual classification by the federal government. Travelers who come from “high-incidence areas” with a particularly high number of infections and from areas with new virus variants must present a negative test before departure. Then requirements also apply to quarantine yourself back in Germany. (SDA)
Published: March 26th, 2021, 4:20 pm