Week after week, the federal government is analyzing which states are classified as high-risk, high-risk area or virus variant in view of the corona pandemic. From next Sunday, the whole of Spain will be a risk area. The “Free Press” answers the most important questions.
Week after week, the federal government is analyzing which states are classified as high-risk, high-risk area or virus variant in view of the corona pandemic. From next Sunday, the whole of Spain will be considered a risk area. The “Free Press” answers the most important questions.
What does risk area mean?
The risk area is the lowest level with a local seven-day incidence of more than 50. If someone comes back from a risk area, there is a quarantine obligation – unless the person has full vaccination protection, has recovered from Covid-19 or can present a negative test result. In principle, regardless of the risk area: On flights to Germany, passengers must show a negative test result (or proof of double vaccination or proof of recovery) before departure. If someone travels by land, there is a quarantine obligation, but it will stop as soon as someone can show a negative result. At present, no state bordering Germany is classified as a corona risk area. This only includes individual overseas regions in the Netherlands and France, such as the island of Réunion. Even though no neighboring country of Germany is currently a risk area: the Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer (CSU) has repeatedly emphasized that the federal police carry out checks in the border areas. Returnees from risk areas must complete the digital entry registration. It should make it easier for health authorities to trace infection chains.
What is a risk area?
This group is also referred to as the high-incidence area. These are states with an incidence of more than 200. Returnees from this area are subject to a ten-day quarantine obligation, provided a returnee has not been vaccinated or recovered. Only after five days at the earliest is a negative test exempt from the quarantine obligation. Currently, for example, Egypt, India, Russia and the Seychelles fall into this category.
What is the virus variant area all about?
These are states in which new variants of the Sars-CoV-2 virus are spreading – that is, variants that have so far not or only rarely been found in Germany. These include, for example, Brazil or South Africa. This sharpest form of risk classification has the most striking consequences for the tourism industry and travelers. There is an obligation to quarantine people who have been in a virus variant area. It’s 14 days. The quarantine cannot be shortened by a test – including for those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered. The state prohibits transport companies such as airlines from transporting people from a virus variant area to Germany who are not German citizens or do not reside in Germany. Britain and Portugal were briefly virus variant areas in May and June, but have not been since July 6. Since then, they have been areas of high incidence. From next Sunday, Cyprus will also be in this category.
Can the classification change?
Yes. That is why the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of the Interior, as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) advise on this on a weekly basis. It is about mapping the current situation. If the corona situation in a country eases, the classification changes – and vice versa. Portugal was only an area with virus variants from June 29 to July 6, while Cyprus was upgraded to an area of high incidence from July 11.
What happens after the summer travel season?
“We need to achieve a vaccination rate of well above 70 percent,” it sounds in government circles. 41.5 percent are currently vaccinated twice. In order to keep the delta variant in check in the autumn and winter and to protect children under the age of 12, more adults should be vaccinated. Federal and state governments are preparing for vaccinations to be renewed soon – starting with the people who were first in line over the winter and whose vaccination protection therefore needs a boost. The RKI and the Paul Ehrlich Institute are currently advising when this should happen. It is clear that the federal and state governments want to get the mobile vaccination teams up and running again as soon as possible.