Germany to bar UK travellers over Covid variant fears – The Independent

German authorities ‘want to play it safe’ to avoid ‘entry of problematic mutations’
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Germany will bar British travellers from entering the country after its Public Health Institute designated the UK as a virus variant area of concern.
From midnight on Sunday 23 May, people travelling to Germany from the UK can only enter if they are a German citizen or resident.
Spouses and children under 18 of a German citizen or resident can also enter as long as they are travelling together as a household.
Germany will also allow certain people in under compassionate grounds, such as an immediate family bereavement. However, anyone entering Germany from the UK must undergo a two-week quarantine on arrival even if they test negative for coronavirus.
People who are only transferring from one flight to another will still be allowed to enter Germany, but they must remain in the airport transit area.
According to guidance from the German government, a virus variant area is “at particularly high risk of infection due to widespread occurrence of Sars-Cov-2 virus variants of concern”.
A government source told Reuters: “We want to play it safe. In this important phase of the vaccination campaign, the entry of problematic mutations must be avoided as far as possible.”
It comes after Spain lifted travel restrictions for British tourists, with prime minister Pedro Sanchez saying Spain will be “delighted, extremely delighted” to welcome UK visitors again.
He said in a statement: “I’m pleased to inform you that a ministerial order will be published today exempting citizens from the UK and other countries such as New Zealand, South Korea or China from temporary restrictions for non-essential trips to Spain.”
Travellers can go on holiday in Spain without a negative PCR test for Covid-19 from Monday.
However, both Germany and Spain are on the UK’s amber list for travel, which means travellers must quarantine at home for 10 days and take a pre-departure Covid test and two more tests after returning to the UK.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps urged holidaymakers to avoid going to countries on the amber list, advising them to have “more patience”.
He told Sky News: “There’a  heck of a lot of hassle involved. It’s expensive. We’re not at the stage of saying to people, go to those places on holiday, in fact, please don’t.”
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