Schengen Visa News

Germany Registers Record COVID-19 Infection Cases Just as Travel Rules Get Eased

Not long after Germany eased travel rules and announced plans to ease some local restrictions, the country recorded the highest number of COVID-19 infections since the start of the pandemic.

The German body responsible for disease prevention and control, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), revealed through its latest update that Germany had more than 294,000 new cases only on Thursday, March 17.

Additionally, the institute has a seven-day infection rate currently at over 1,651,400 cases, reports.

The number of infections may be higher than what was reported by the RKI, as self-tests are not usually included in the final report of positive cases.

Regarding vaccination rates, data from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) show that 90.6 percent of the total adult population in Germany has already completed the primary vaccination. In addition, another 69.2 percent received an additional vaccine dose.

German ministers earlier announced plans to gradually lift the majority of COVID-19 restrictions by March 20. However, Germany’s health minister, Karl Lauterbach, said the decision to relax the rules must be reconsidered.

Lauterbach said the situation inside the country was “critical” at the moment and suggested that the authorities continue implementing measures until the number of infections began to decline.

The increase in cases of COVID-19 infection in Germany comes after the easing of travel restrictions for foreigners. German authorities announced earlier that incoming travelers will not be subject to strict travel rules as before.

Since March 3, all countries have been removed from Germany’s high-risk list. The authorities made it clear that all travelers arriving in Germany from the EU/Schengen area or any third country on the safe list are allowed to enter without restrictions without having to follow additional entry rules, such as post-arrival testing and quarantine requirements.

Travelers from the EU/Schengen area and those arriving in Germany from a safe third country are only required to present a valid vaccination, recovery or test certificate.

On the other hand, different rules apply to non-EU countries that are not part of the safe list. Travelers from third countries are currently only allowed to enter Germany for travel purposes if they have been fully vaccinated against the virus. Non-immune travelers from outside the EU can only enter Germany for essential purposes provided they meet the additional entry rules.

>> OFFICIAL: New rules now apply for travel to Germany

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