Germany has added to the list of high-risk areas the highest number of countries in over a year at once, including several European Union Member States, amid the increase of Coronavirus cases throughout the world, and in particular, the spread of the Omicron variant.
Updating the list of countries highly affected by the virus on Friday, January 7, 2022, the Robert Koch Institute, which is the German government research institute responsible for disease control and prevention, has expanded the same list by adding the following:
- The Bahamas
- Cape Verde
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Ivory Coast
- France – the French overseas departments of French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, St. Martin and St. Barthélemy
- The Netherlands – the overseas parts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands of Aruba and Curaçao
- Sierra Leone
- South Sudan
- The United Arab Emirates
The move means that starting from the following Sunday, January 9, 2022, travellers from these countries who are not vaccinated and those who have not been infected with COVID-19 recently should register online before their trip to Germany.
“Travellers who have visited a high-risk area or area of a variant of concern in the last ten days must register at www.einreiseanmeldung.de before arriving in Germany and carry proof of registration with them upon entry,” the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs explains.
The same are also subject to the COVID-19 pre-departure testing obligation when travelling to Germany, as well as subject to self-isolation for a period of ten days, which can be ended after five days if the traveller tests for COVID-19 and results negative again.
Updating the list, the RKI has removed Ukraine from the list of high-risk areas, which means that travel from this country, in particular for those non-vaccinated and who haven’t been infected with COVID-19 before.
Germany’s list of virus variant areas remains empty after the country removed Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the list on January 4.
Travellers from these countries (aside from the UK) have been banned from entering Germany, except for German nationals and residents, since late November when the Omicron virus variant was detected in South Africa. Travellers from the UK were banned later in December.
Those permitted to enter from virus variant areas were obliged to stay isolated for a period of 14 days, without the possibility of shortening it.
Data by the World Health Organization shows that Germany alone has reported 267,573 new COVID-19 cases in the last seven days, while a total of 13,307,762 new cases have been recorded worldwide within the same period.