Germany will make corona virus testing mandatory for travelers returning from high-risk areas as fears grow that summer travel may trigger a new increase in infections.
Countries participating in the measures announced today by Health Minister Jens Spahn include the United States, which has reported 4.33 million confirmed cases and 149,000 deaths from the virus.
The popular German holiday destination Turkey is also on the list, but Spain, France and the UK are not considered to be risky.
“We have to prevent returning travelers from infecting others unnoticed and thus triggering new chains of infection. I will therefore order mandatory tests for travelers from high-risk areas, ”Spahn wrote on Twitter.
A passenger is being tested by a doctor at a coronavirus screening station in the medical center of Düsseldorf Airport today, as Germany is considering whether airport tests are mandatory
Today, passengers are waiting to be tested at a coronavirus screening station in Düsseldorf after the state of North Rhine-Westphalia has ordered the screening at three airports
It was reported today that Germany is conducting coronavirus controls at airports and is considering committing them to avert a second wave of Covid-19.
Munich, Dortmund and Dusseldorf are among the airports that travelers examine when they return from abroad, and Angela Merkel's Minister of Health is discussing plans to enforce them nationwide today.
Britain has never imposed such controls, and the government's test and trace chief downplayed suggestions yesterday that British tourists could be tested on their way home from Spain.
Germany has seen in the past few days what its own health authorities describe as "very worrying" after it has been widely praised for coping with the crisis.
In the UK, the government is asked to test people returning from Spain to prevent them from being quarantined for 14 days.
Spain was abruptly removed from the UK's list of "travel corridors" on Saturday, causing a stir in the resumption of summer vacation.
Airport tests in the UK are currently under review, but Baroness Dido Harding, test and trace supremo number 10, said Sunday that testing people arriving from Spain would not save them from quarantine.
Speaking to Times Radio, she said, “Although we would love you to have a test today, we can be sure that you are not contagious and on the verge of illness, but that's not the way to go. The virus works.
“A test today is only as good as saying that you don't have the disease today.
“The incubation period can be quite long. If you were in a very high risk environment and our scientists and clinicians currently believe that Spain is a high risk environment, we need to isolate you for 14 days because you may be negative today and tomorrow or the next day test positive until the end of this 14 day period. & # 39;
Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn and his regional colleagues agreed on Friday that returning tourists will be offered free voluntary tests.
Merkel's chief of staff, Helge Braun, said the health ministers would discuss making the controls compulsory today.
"I think we will find a solution relatively quickly," said Braun, adding that it is necessary to act now to reduce the number of infections, as it would be more difficult to control the spread of the disease in autumn and winter.
"Most of the time, it is the considerate people who have been very cautious on vacation anyway who accept the voluntary offers, while those who are more careless do not do a voluntary test," Braun told RBB Inforadio.
The state of North Rhine-Westphalia has committed travelers from high-risk areas at three airports, including Düsseldorf and Dortmund.
These include popular vacation destinations such as Turkey and the United States, although Spain, France and the UK are not classified as risky.
After a local outbreak on the site of a cucumber farm, health workers in protective suits are collecting samples at a test station in Germany
In Germany, the number of cases has increased slightly and the highest weekly total has been recorded since May, although the number is still below 1,000 per day
The death toll in Germany has not increased in two days and the country's overall mortality rate is much lower than in the UK, Spain, France or Italy
Munich Airport has also set up a test center. Checks are now being offered at the two largest Bavarian train stations in Munich and Nuremberg.
"We cannot completely prevent Korona, so the goal must be to recognize it in time so that it does not spread," said Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Soeder.
"I am not worried that there will be a large Ischgl, but that there will be many Mini-Ischgl," he added, referring to the Austrian ski area, which was an early European hot spot in March.
"We are already seeing this in Spain, but also in other places," he said, adding that German residents' trips to family visits abroad are also a problem.
Soeder also joined a growing chorus of calls to make tests mandatory for vacationers returning to Germany.
"We are preparing everything so that the approval can be implemented immediately if the federal government approves it," he said.
In the midst of summer travel considerations, around 500 workers were quarantined on a large Bavarian farm to curb a massive outbreak of the coronavirus.
In the municipality of Mamming, at least 174 seasonal workers tested positive for the virus, most of them from Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine.
Soeder said on Monday that Bavaria would test all seasonal workers in the country and increase the fines for companies that violate the regulations to EUR 25,000.
Passengers are waiting for their check-in at Düsseldorf Airport in North Rhine-Westphalia, which is home to many of the most recent new cases in Germany
There were 3,695 new coronavirus cases in Germany last week, up from 2,770 the previous week and the highest weekly number since May.
In addition, the closely observed R-rate has largely been above the critical threshold of 1.0 in the past two weeks. The latest number is 1.22.
The Robert Koch Institute for Diseases (RKI) says the recent surge is "very worrying" and is occurring in a number of countries.
Nationwide there are many small incidents in different administrative districts that are connected in different ways, e.g. Larger celebrations in the family environment, for leisure activities, for jobs, but also in municipal and health facilities, ”says the RKI.
"In addition, Covid 19 cases are increasingly found in people returning from trips outside Germany."
Michael Kretschmer, Prime Minister of the East Saxon country, warned that the second wave was already underway.
Kretschmer – member of Angela Merkel's CDU party – told the Rheinische Post newspaper: "The second wave of the corona virus is already here.
& # 39; It takes place every day. We have new infection clusters every day that can get very high. & # 39;
There were a total of 205,609 cases and 9,118 deaths in Germany, a significantly lower number than in Great Britain, Italy, Spain or France.
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