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Travelers from the U.S. are set to face even more restrictions than usual when heading to Germany. The change in restrictions comes following Germany’s decision to label the US as a “high risk” country due to the current levels of Covid-19 that are being reported in the US. A popular destination in winter for its famed Christmas markets and snowy backdrops, the move will make it harder for some Americans to visit Germany – but not all.
The US wasn’t the only country whose citizens were handed tough entrance procedures by Germany, with other countries also designated as high-risk nations by the popular European travel destination. Here’s a look at the new restrictions facing American travelers, why the US was labeled a high risk country plus a look at which other countries have suffered the same fate in recent days.
US Is ‘High Risk’ – Information For Travelers
Whilst the news that the US has been designated as a high risk country is bound to make life difficult for some travelers, it should not come as much of a surprise. For several weeks now, like many other countries, the US has been reporting high levels of positive Covid-19 cases. The 20th of December saw more than 300,000 cases reported, whilst the current daily average stands at almost 188,000 cases. The high case rates, coupled with US travelers’ proclivity for New Year travel, led Germany to take action.
The new restrictions are set to affect travelers who are either unvaccinated or unrecovered from Covid-19. Those entering Germany from the US or from any of the other countries that have been deemed to be high risk areas must now self-isolate in Germany for a period of ten days. This self-isolation period can however be cut down to five days should the traveler produce a negative test result.
Germany has acted quickly on this front to keep its citizens safe. The new changes were agreed on Thursday and went into effect yesterday, on Christmas Day. Fully vaccinated travelers and those who can prove that they have recently recovered from Covid-19 are set to be unaffected by the changes, and will face the same restrictions that those coming from the US faced prior to the country being deemed a high risk area.
Those traveling to Germany from the US aren’t the only ones to be affected. Several other countries were also branded high risk area by Germany on Thursday, and people traveling from those areas are set to face the same restrictions. Those countries are Spain, Portugal, Finland, Monaco, and Cyprus. Belize, Bosnia, Malaysia and Serbia were removed from the list of high risk areas on the same day, which will make travel easier for travelers arriving in Germany from those countries.
At present, more than 50 countries make up the high risk area list. This is in addition to the 9 counties on the “area of variants of concern” list, a list that features countries that are considered more of a threat than those on the high risk area list. The UK currently finds itself on the area of variants of concern list, alongside Botswana, Eswatini, Malawi, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
At present, Germany is reporting high levels of Covid-19 with a new record set on December 9th, when the country broke the 100,000 barrier. The country is reporting an average of around 27,000 cases per day. Around 70% of the country has received at least two doses of the vaccine so far. Germany currently has a Level 4 travel advisory, warning travelers not to visit the country.
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