Berlin (dpa) – Due to the dramatic increase in corona infections, the federal government will classify India as a high incidence area starting Sunday.
However, this does not initially mean stricter admission requirements for the country with its 1.3 billion inhabitants, where a new virus variant is currently spreading. Only when classified as a virus variant region would there have been additional restrictions. The federal government initially decided against this, but Health Minister Jens Spahn did not rule out such a step in the future.
North African Tunisia, the island state of Cape Verde off the African coast and the Arab Gulf states of Qatar and Oman will also become areas with a high incidence from Sunday, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) announced on the internet on Friday. Several Caribbean countries have been removed from the list of risk areas, including the Dominican Republic, which is also popular with German tourists, for which the quarantine obligation on entry into Germany no longer applies.
India is still an easy risk area. Anyone entering from such areas is required to undergo a ten-day quarantine, which can be released after five days with a negative corona test. Upgrading to a high incidence area does not change this.
The rules for virus variant areas are much stricter: participants must be in quarantine for 14 days with no option to shorten the time. Moreover, airlines, as well as train and bus companies are not allowed to transport certain groups of people from these regions.
The number of infections in India is increasing dramatically. The Ministry of Health reported the highest figure in the world on Friday with 332,730 new cases within 24 hours. 2,263 people died from or with Covid-19.
On the one hand, experts attribute the development to careless handling of the pandemic: there were long mass events before upcoming regional elections and religious festivals, during which people did not wear masks or kept their distance. Virus mutations are also a cause for concern in the country. The Indian variant B.1.617 is under observation by the World Health Organization (WHO).
RKI deputy head Lars Schaade said on Friday that it was conceivable “that the variant will present us with new challenges”. But the proof is not there yet. “We have to look there, warnings have to be taken seriously.” The point is also to avoid the further introduction of the variant in Germany. The number of previous evidence is 21, the RKI had already written in a report on Wednesday. “At the moment we do not see a trend towards widespread use within Germany. But we have that in mind, ”Schaade emphasizes.
In addition to the aforementioned changes, there are a few more on the RKI’s risk list on Sunday:
– In addition to the Dominican Republic, St. Lucia and Antigua and Barbuda in the Caribbean are also removed from the list of risk areas. This also applies to individual regions in Ireland, Finland and Norway.
– The Bahamas – previously ‘risk free’ – is now classified as a risk area.
– Albania and Moldova will be downgraded from high risk area to risk area.