Aviation: change of course with regard to the quarantine obligation? Free press

Berlin (dpa) – The federal government and states are thinking about making things easier for air travelers. Travelers from simple high-risk areas should be able to avoid quarantine in the future with a one-time negative corona test upon entry, according to the draft of a working group’s final document.

In addition to reliable PCR tests, tested antigen tests should also be used for “free tests,” according to the design of the working group consisting of federal ministries, state representatives and associations available to the DPA.

The tourism industry sees the quarantine regulations on the return journey as the main obstacle to a strong restart of air traffic. In the working group, the trade associations had insisted on more mobility. The corona pandemic had plunged the airline industry into a serious crisis due to travel restrictions.

The working group should re-discuss the paper. Changes are therefore still possible. Specifically, the design for the point “Entry from a” simple “risk area” proposes that people entering Germany who have stayed in a risk area in the last 10 days before entering the country can leave up to 48 hours earlier. or up to 48 hours. Exempt the performed test from the quarantine obligation hours after entry – if a negative result is demonstrated.

This would be a change of course. Until now, it was the case that you must be able to prove that you are not infected with the corona virus from a risk area no later than 48 hours after entering a risk area. Travelers must go to a ten-day home quarantine immediately upon arrival from a risk area – this can be ended after five days at the earliest with a second negative test result.

An important technological innovation is the possibility provided in the concept to upload the test results to the already collected digital application registration. This could then be controlled much more easily by the responsible health authorities than the previous quarantine rules. According to industry circles, the technical implementation is about to be completed.

According to the design, the rules for entry from areas of high incidence are in principle enforced. As before, an exemption from self-quarantine should be possible after five days if a second negative test is uploaded for access registration. The first test must be presented before participation.

As a possible exception, so-called “flight corridors” are proposed, which could be negotiated bilaterally with other countries. This is conceivable for regions where transports must be maintained or intensified because of “compelling state, political or economic interests”. In the past, Lufthansa boss Carsten Spohr had suggested opening up to North America. Within the corridors, passengers would be tested three times per flight, but would then be able to move freely without quarantine.

However, for areas with virus variants, the quarantine should remain for 14 days without the “free test” option.

Popular holiday destinations such as Greece, Italy and Turkey are currently also considered risk areas, according to a list from the Robert Koch Institute. A week ago, the federal government decided to remove Mallorca and other regions in Spain, Portugal, Denmark and the Bahamas in the Caribbean from the list of risk areas. This means that since Sunday it has been possible to go on holiday again on the favorite island of the Germans without quarantine and mandatory inspection upon return. A negative test is only required upon entry into Spain.

The Federal Association of the German Aviation Industry (BDL) praised the ‘structured work process’. “The proposals provide a good basis for working to improve health and controlled safety in pandemic conditions while enabling the necessary mobility,” explains Managing Director Matthias von Randow. According to the design, “regulatory adjustments” are required for the implementation of the modified test strategy and the flight corridors. This requires an understanding in the conference between the Chancellor and the heads of state government.

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