Will the extended testing obligation come for holiday returnees? | free press

Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) wants to expand the testing obligation for people returning to travel. A spokeswoman for the ministry said on Tuesday that this should be done “as soon as possible”. But she added: “Votes within the government are currently underway.” According to Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD), one must ensure that…

Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) wants to expand the testing obligation for people returning to travel. A spokeswoman for the ministry said on Tuesday that this should be done “as soon as possible”. But she added: “Votes within the government are currently underway.” According to Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD), one must ensure that “the contamination process remains manageable: this also includes considerations on how to make travel even safer.” That is why the cabinet is working on a joint solution, says Lambrecht. When the government agrees on a concept it is open.

Spahn wants to oblige all returnees to provide proof of vaccination or recovery or to be tested for the coronavirus – regardless of which country they come from and which means of transport they travel. Until now, the testing obligation applies to air passengers and passengers arriving from so-called corona risk areas who have not been vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19 disease. The move by Spahn, who supports Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU), is not included in the new admission regulations that will come into effect next Wednesday. She will maintain the current rules for entry until September 10. What is new, however, is that vaccinated people do not need to be quarantined if they enter from a virus variant area and this is classified as a risk area after return. For example, the group of virus variant regions currently includes Brazil and South Africa, but not a European country.

The CDU and CSU Prime Ministers also discussed the issue of tests for returnees, the further course of the vaccination campaign and school activities after the summer holidays. A spokeswoman for the Bavarian State Chancellery said on request that it was an internal meeting at which no resolutions were expected. The reigning mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller (SPD) announced on August 10 a meeting of all state leaders with Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU). The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) emphasized that “travel-related cases” currently play an “increasing role in the current infection rate”. In about ten percent of the infections (2402) there is a good chance that the infection happened abroad. According to the RKI, this value was one percent at the beginning of June.

In mid-July, no country directly adjacent to the Federal Republic of Germany was classified as a corona risk area. The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the RKI regularly carry out this classification. The situation of mid-July has changed since mid-July. Denmark and individual regions of France (including Occitania and Provence / Alpes / Côte d’Azur and Corsica) are currently classified as risk areas. The Netherlands and Spain have been classified as high-incidence areas (also known as high-risk areas) since July 27. If someone comes back from a risk area, there is a quarantine obligation – unless the person has full vaccination protection, has recovered or can present a negative test result. For people who have been to a risk area, the quarantine period is ten days, unless they have been vaccinated or recovered. Only after five days at the earliest is a negative test exempt from the quarantine obligation. Portugal and Great Britain are also currently among the risk areas. Returnees from risk areas must complete a digital entry registration. This should make it easier for health authorities to understand infection chains. According to reports, Spahn and Seehofer are not planning stationary border checks when extending the testing obligation. However, Seehofer points out that the federal police in the border regions would randomly check returning travelers who return with their own car.

EU sees vaccination target achieved – and is astonishing

Seven in ten adults in the EU have received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine. That said the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, in Brussels on Tuesday. “The EU has kept its word and delivered. Our goal in July was to protect 70 percent of adults in the European Union with at least one vaccination. We achieved that goal today,” she said. “And 57 percent of adults already enjoy the full protection of a double vaccination. With these values, Europe is in the top group worldwide.” She appealed to citizens to get vaccinated.

But the balance, planned as a success, was met with surprise and shaking of the head in Brussels. Just hours later, Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides’ spokesperson was exposed to a wave of critical questions from EU correspondents. Because the committee had issued the 70 percent target in the spring, but spoke of full vaccination protection. The 27 Member States are still a long way from that.

The quota now mentioned is just an average value that several Member States are pushing for because they are far below it. EU countries such as Latvia and Romania reported vaccination rates well below 50 percent. And Germany also does not achieve the target – even if you only count the first vaccination. (drawn)

The current corona figures in the region can be found here: www.freipresse.de/coronadaten

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