Today saw significant updates to travel guidance within Europe. Firstly Germany revised its mandatory testing of high-risk passenger policy. Then, just hours later, the UK changed its risk list, and, as expected, added three new countries.
Around the world, countries are slowly opening up and travel is becoming normalized once more. However, while demand is gradually picking up, strict regulations are also popping up on specific routes. With the most significant risk to aviation’s recovery being a second wave, let’s see what the latest in Europe is.
Germany alters risk country guidance
Towards the start of August, Germany brought in a policy of testing every single traveler arriving in the country from a high-risk area. This approach was praised, as it allowed passengers to get back in the sky while reducing the risk of imported COVID-19 cases. The tests were free at the point of use, with the government picking up the tab.
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However, today, as anticipated, Germany backtracked on this policy. From the start of October, everybody entering the country from a high-risk area will be forced to quarantine for five days. Once the five days are up, they will have the option of taking a COVID-19 test.
If the test comes back negative, they are then free to leave quarantine. If the test comes back positive, or they do not take a test, they must quarantine for at least the full 14 days. The state also began encouraging residents not to travel to high-risk countries.
The United Kingdom updates its quarantine risk list
As has become a tradition on a Thursday, the United Kingdom today released its updated quarantine risk list. As expected, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, and Jamaica were removed from the list of quarantine free countries. This comes after new cases topped 20 per 100,000 in the last seven days.
This means that from 4 AM on Saturday, August 29th, travelers arriving in England from these countries will need to quarantine for 14 days. However, it’s not all bad news. Indeed, while these three destinations have been added to the quarantine list, travelers from Cuba will be able to enter the country without quarantining from Saturday.
It may have come as some surprise that Canada and Singapore were not added to the quarantine exemption list. Both countries have a relatively low COVID-19 incidence rate. Singapore has 8 cases per 100,000 people in the last week, while Canada has just 7.8
According to Paul Charles, from industry media company the PC agency, the United Kingdom currently has an incidence of 11.6 new cases per 100,000 people in the last seven days, while Germany has a figure of 11.2.
What do you make of the United Kingdom’s new quarantine update? Is Germany right to go back to mandatory quarantines from high-risk countries? Let us know what you think and why in the comments.