Holidays: Germany easing restrictions on travel from UK

German officials have moved the UK from their highest risk travel list, to their second-highest category.

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Germany is easing strict restrictions on travel from the UK, Portugal and some other countries that were imposed because of the rise of the more contagious Delta variant of coronavirus.

Germany’s national disease control centre, the Robert Koch Institute, said late on Monday that Britain, Portugal, Russia, India and Nepal will be removed from the highest risk category of “virus variant areas”, from Wednesday.

They will move into the second-highest category of “high-incidence areas”.

The UK had been in the top risk category since May 23, and was joined last Tuesday by Russia and Portugal, one of Germany’s partners in the European Union.

Airlines and others are restricted largely to transporting German citizens and residents from “virus variant areas”, and those who arrive must spend 14 days in quarantine at home.

People arriving from “high incidence areas” can avoid quarantine if they can prove they are fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19. Others can cut short a mandatory 10-day quarantine by testing negative after five days. Transport is no longer restricted.

Officials have said the listings would be reviewed as the proportion of infections caused by the Delta variant in Germany rises. Although overall case numbers are very low, more than half of new cases are now believed to be caused by Delta.

Chancellor Angela Merkel indicated during a visit to Britain on Friday that the restrictions on travel from the UK would soon be relaxed.

Eleven countries will remain on Germany’s “virus variant area” list for now: Botswana, Brazil, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Uruguay.