Health Minister Jens Span wants to ban entry from Great Britain, Ireland and South Africa until 6 January due to the dangerous corona mutation. Late Monday evening, Spann submitted a draft “to the relevant ordinance on protection against the risk of infection due to entry” and asked his colleagues for swift approval from the cabinet. If SPAN has its way, the regulation immediately applies. Should be, it is “urgently required”. Paper from their home is available to SPIEGEL.
As of 6 January, the regulation prohibits transportation from countries mentioned in Germany. Exceptions are pure freight and mail transport, medical flights or organ transport and machines from the International Atomic Energy Agency and the United Nations. However, regular airlines have to stop their flights altogether. From the German point of view, it mainly affects Lufthansa, which operates in all three countries.
In terms of content, the regulation represents an agreement. SPAN was able to implement a quick and strict entry stop for areas in which mutations of coronovirus were found. Nevertheless, following various agreements with other ministries, they had to integrate the January 1 deadline into the ordinance. From this time on, Germans and people with residence permits are likely to return to Germany if they can show a negative corona test.
“To deal with particularly serious threats”
The regulation is based on the severe risk posed by coronovirus mutations, which, according to the paper, spreads very easily from person to person. The draft literally means that the new form of the virus may be “rapid spread of the virus with an associated increased burden on medical institutions”. This should be avoided “to avoid particularly serious threats to public health”.
The regulation of SPAN has also had consequences for people visiting Great Britain, Ireland or South Africa in the last few weeks. All travelers who have gone to three countries in the last ten days are obliged to take the exam. From January 1, airlines can plan flights to Germany from three countries again. However, these must be registered with the Ministry of Interior three days prior to departure and approved there.
There are strict rules for exemptions for returns, which apparently only apply to Germans and those with valid residence permits. When entering the country, these people must present a negative corona test not older than 48 hours. In fact, this regulation should mean that airlines will only carry German passengers who can show a negative test. In addition, general quarantine rules apply to travelers after arriving in Germany.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson claimed on Saturday that the recently discovered version was 70 percent more contagious than previously known. British Health Secretary Matt Hancock had said that the new version was “out of control”. Several states blocked entry from Great Britain over the weekend.
Federal police had already intercepted passengers from three countries at various airports in Germany on Sunday evening and passed a corona test. Some passengers had to spend the night at the airport. Finally, a dozen or more in Germany tested positive for the corona. Further tests will only reveal if it is a new mutation.
A quick approval for SPAN’s submission is certain. His ministry held intensive discussions with other departments throughout Monday and “coordinated all details by mutual agreement” according to the paper.