Germany Adds 4 EU Countries To “Red-List” and Bans UK Travelers Over Omicron Spread

Germany Adds 4 EU Countries To "Red-List" with Tighter Entry Restrictions

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has designated four more European countries as high-risk locations owing to the increasing COVID-19 transmission rate in their territories.

Beginning December 19, 2021, at 12:00 a.m. unvaccinated visitors from Denmark (including the Faroe Islands and Greenland), France (including the island of Réunion), Andorra, and Norway will have to submit a pre-departure test and quarantine upon arrival. 

Lebanon was also added to this list.

Update December 19: New travel ban applies to UK travel from midnight Sunday. All airlines are banned to transport travelers from the UK to Germany. Only German citizens, residents, and their family members are allowed to enter.

An exception applies to UK travelers only transiting via German airport. (Source: Guardian)

All travelers from the UK will be subjected to provide a negative PCR test and undergo 14-day quarantine, regardless of their vaccination status.

“The classification of risk areas can change at short notice. Please check immediately before departure whether the countries in which you have stayed in the last ten days before entering Germany are classified as risk areas,” the RKI advises.

The decision follows a rapid increase in Omicron cases in these nations. 

According to data from the (ECDC) Norway has reported 1,792 Omicron cases, Denmark 383, and France 170, out of a total of 3,158 Omicron cases reported in EU and EEA nations. On top of that, the UK is reporting over 10,000 daily Omicron cases.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa will continue to be banned.

On the good side, the RKI has removed Albania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Northern Macedonia, and Moldova from the high-risk list due to a decrease in cases.

Unvaccinated travelers from these countries will no longer be required to submit two COVID-19 tests to avoid quarantine. 

Germany must prepare for a “massive fifth wave” due to the new Omicron strain, said the Health Minister on Friday.

“We have to prepare for a challenge we haven’t seen before in this form,” the minister said at a press conference, adding that even if the variant was “milder,” it will “make no difference.”

Even if this strain is less dangerous than previous ones, it may “keep deaths low for two or three weeks before the growth of the virus would eat up this advantage,” a difficult time ahead is “inevitable,” he stressed.

Regarding local restrictions, Germany has banned the unvaccinated from indoor restaurants and other non-essential businesses.