Germany on Friday designated France and Denmark as high risk zones for the transmission of coronavirus and will impose quarantine on unvaccinated travellers from the two, a public health agency said.
The requirement will be imposed from Sunday and will also apply to travellers from Norway, Lebanon and Andorra, with those unvaccinated or who have not recovered from the virus subject to quarantine with the possibility of testing on day five.
Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said earlier Friday that Germany, battered by a recent rise in Covid cases, must brace for a “massive fifth wave” due to the new Omicron variant.
“We must prepare for a challenge that we have not yet had in this form,” Lauterbach told reporters, adding that even if the variant were “milder” it may make “no difference”.
Were the virus to be less serious than other variants, this might “keep deaths low for two to three weeks, before the growth of the virus would eat up this advantage,” the minister said, underlining that a difficult period ahead was “inevitable”.
Germany has reimposed health restrictions following high case numbers, barring unvaccinated people from restaurants and non-essential commerce. Case numbers have declined slightly but the spread of the more infectious Omicron variant, first identified in South Africa, threatens to send new infections up again.