Bavarian airports to offer free coronavirus tests to returning travellers
Germany has managed to control the spread of coronavirus much better than some of its European neighbours - but with restrictions gradually lifting and air traffic resuming, concerns are understandably mounting about vacationers bringing the virus back with them. That’s why the state of Bavaria wants to offer free coronavirus tests at airports for all returning travellers.
Free coronavirus tests in airports in Bavaria
State Premier Markus Söder announced on Sunday that Bavaria would soon start offering free coronavirus tests at airports for people returning from holiday. Speaking to state broadcaster ZDF, Söder said, “Anyone returning from holiday can be tested there, for free, at any time.”
Söder did not specify exactly when the test centres would open but said he was liaising with the relevant government agencies to move as quickly as possible, and that the beginning of the summer holidays next weekend was a sensible target.
The tests would be offered for free at Munich Airport - the second-largest airport in Germany after Frankfurt Airport - as well as other smaller airports like Nuremberg and Memmingen. Up until now, coronavirus testing has only been possible at Munich Airport, where it cost 190 euros.
Concern about holidaygoers ignoring coronavirus rules
The southern state - which has been one of Germany’s worst-hit regions during the pandemic - has already started offering free coronavirus tests for all of its residents - but these new test centres in airports will specifically target returning holidaymakers.
The announcement came just a few days after pictures emerged of German tourists partying in Mallorca with little regard for coronavirus regulations. While German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has threatened to impose new restrictions on returning travellers, Söder hopes to encourage voluntary testing. “We really need to focus on these returning holidaymakers,” he said.