Border controls — including limits on public transport and mandatory test and quarantine requirements for travelers — are unavoidable in the effort to prevent the import of other more contagious coronavirus variants, German Health Minister Jens Spahn said Friday.
“This means there will be a ban on transportation — and without exceptions tests must be made before entering Germany — and there is an obligation to quarantine,” Spahn told journalists at a health press briefing.
Spahn went on to say that — despite the new variants — overall infections rates in Germany were falling.
”To protect the population from virus mutations — this is why the federal government decided yesterday to declare the Czech Republic, Tyrol and Slovakia as coronavirus variant areas,” the minister said.
Some context: On Thursday, German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said that Germany was temporarily imposing border checks and limiting travel from the Czech Republic and the Austrian province of Tyrol due to a spike in infections of the new, more contagious coronavirus variants. The restrictions come into force Sunday.
On Friday, Germany recorded 9,860 new coronavirus infections — a drop of 3,048 cases compared to the same day last week. Germany coronavirus deaths stood at 556 within the last 24 hours – a drop of 299 compared to Friday last week.
The latest data from the country’s public health authority, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), indicate that the number of new infections per 100,000 residents could fall below 60 this weekend, Spahn said.
As of Friday, 5.7 million coronavirus vaccines have been distributed across Germany’s 16 federal states, with some 3.6 million vaccinations carried out so far. 2,490,423 — 3% of Germany’s population have received the first shot, while 1,178,725 have received the second shot, according to RKI data. Spahn said that Germany will distribute 8 million coronavirus vaccines by the end of next week.
Germany is currently administering the coronavirus vaccines developed by Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca.