December 7, 2021

Uber Turco News

Breaking News, Sports, Entertainment

Can I travel to Germany from the UK? New Covid restrictions explained, and what it means for winter holidays

Germany recorded its worst ever number of daily Covid cases on Thursday, with Chancellor Angela Merkel admitting the fourth wave of the virus is hitting the country with “full force”.

The country’s disease control agency, the Robert Koch Institute, reported 65,371 new infections, shattering its previous 24-hour record.

The spike in cases has led to some restrictions being imposed, with the head of Germany’s disease control agency warning of the possibility of a “really terrible Christmas”.

Here’s what you need to know about those restrictions, and whether they affect travel.

Can I still travel to Germany?

You are only allowed to enter Germany from the UK for a non-essential reason if you are fully vaccinated.

The only reasons you may enter if you are not double jabbed are if you:

  • Are a German citizen
  • Are the spouse/partner/child under-18 of a German citizen
  • Are a resident of Germany
  • Are the spouse/partner/child under-18 of a resident of Germany
  • Serve in an important role
  • Have an urgent need to travel

People in these groups are subject to 10-day quarantine, with test and release available after five days.

All travellers entering Germany from the UK are required to complete pre-departure digital registration, regardless of vaccination status.

People over 12 who are fully vaccinated must show their proof of vaccination to enter the country. Those who aren’t must display proof of a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours ago, or a lateral flow test that is no more than 48 hours old.

What are Germany’s restrictions?

German lawmakers approved new measures to tackle the spike in cases on Thursday.

They include requirements for employees to prove they are vaccinated, recently recovered from Covid-19 or have tested negative in order to access communal workplaces. A similar rule will apply to public transport.

Some regions will also bar unvaccinated people from restaurants, bars, gyms, hairdressers, cinemas, theatres, and events. The regions imposing these rules will be based on hospitalisation rates.

Saxony – the worst-affected region – is preparing to introduce a short lockdown to deal with its soaring cases.

Governor Michael Kretschmer said the state government would decide on a “hard and clear wave breaker” on Friday, lasting two to three weeks.

Why are cases spiking in Germany?

Germany’s vaccination rate is relatively low compared to other European countries, including the UK – and only on Thursday did its vaccine advisory committee recommend using boosters.

The vaccination rate currently stands at 67.7 per cent. In the UK it is over 80 per cent, and Spain is just below 80. France’s vaccination rate is roughly 70 per cent.

Like the UK, Spain and France are both already administering booster jabs.

cases
A graph comparing Covid cases in Germany and the UK (Graph: i)

Lothar Wieler, director of the Robert Koch Institute, said Germany’s figure needs to improve to at least 75 per cent.

The situation is worst in Saxony, where just 57.6 per cent of the population is double jabbed.

Official figures show Saxony had more than 761 newly confirmed cases per 100,000 people in the last seven days, the highest infection rate in Germany.

The UK actually has a higher seven-day infection rate (402 per 100,000 people) than Germany (351 per 100,000).

But Germany’s have been rising rapidly, whereas the UK’s have remained relatively stable – though with some peaks and troughs – since the summer.