Germany announces mandatory coronavirus tests for arrivals from China
German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has announced that visitors from China will have to provide proof of a negative coronavirus antigen rapid test upon arrival in Germany.
Travellers from China must provide proof of negative COVID test
Amid a coronavirus wave in China, Germany’s Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has announced that the country’s coronavirus arrival measures will soon be changed, meaning people arriving from China to Germany will be required to provide proof of a negative antigen rapid test (Schnelltest) result.
In agreement with many virologists, over the past few days, Lauterbach had maintained that an arrival test was not necessary for those coming from China, as there was no significant danger expected to come from new variants.
However, now that the European consensus has changed, and the EU has recommended that member states require tests from travellers, Lauterbach said it was a “good decision” to enforce testing travel restrictions. The new rules come as Germany has been debating whether or not to remove mandatory masks on public transport, long-distance trains and in hospitals, which were the last remaining coronavirus requirements.
Random checks in Germany aim to detect virus variants
Lauterbach has also announced that Germany will carry out random checks on arrivals from China, in order to detect new virus variants. The minister has announced particular concern over the virus variant which is currently making its way through the United States, XBB.1.5, and causing hospital admissions in the northeast of the country.
The German government will also carry out sewage and wastewater tests, which have already begun at the airport in Frankfurt, monitoring wastewater from an aircraft from China. On Twitter, Lauterbach wrote optimistically, “Hopefully we will get through the winter before such a variant can spread to our country.”
Thumb image credit: Ringo Chiu / Shutterstock.com
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