Germany declares Dublin a Covid-19 risk area because of high number of cases

Arrivals from Dublin required to take a coronavirus test within 10 days and self-isolate until they receive negative result

A lone biker at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate. Berlin defines a risk area as anywhere with a new infection rate above 50 per 100,000 of population in the last seven days. Photograph: iStock

A lone biker at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate. Berlin defines a risk area as anywhere with a new infection rate above 50 per 100,000 of population in the last seven days. Photograph: iStock

 

Germany has declared Dublin a Covid-19 risk area, requiring anyone arriving from the Irish capital to take a free Covid-19 test.

Berlin defines a risk area as anywhere with a new infection rate above 50 per 100,000 of population in the last seven days. Officials at the foreign and interior ministries also include in their final decision other qualitative criteria, such as local testing regimes.

Based on official Irish figures, Dublin has an infection rate of 71.69 per 100,000 of population over the last seven days.

Other areas declared risk areas included Brittany and Normandy in France, the Utrecht province of the Netherlands, the greater Lisbon area and almost all of the Czech Republic.

Countries on the risk-list since June include the US, Russia and most African countries.

Last week, Vienna and Amsterdam were added to the German risk list.

From today [ Thursday], all arrivals from Dublin to Germany are required to take a test either on arrival or within 10 days. They must self-isolate until they receive a negative test result. Anyone who can produce a negative test result from the Irish authorities - no older than 48 hours - is exempted from another test and isolation, but are encouraged to take a second test on arrival in Germany.

A positive test result requires up to 10 days’ quarantine, with local health authorities carrying out random checks based on contact form details. Fines vary in each of Germany’s 16 federal states for breaching quarantine provisions. Berlin imposes fines of up to €3,000 while Bavaria - with one of Germany’s highest infection rates - may impose a fine or imprisonment of up to two years.

Testing is available free of charge at all German airports with flights to and from Ireland.

Wednesday’s decision was taken after consultation between the Robert Koch Institute - Germany’s disease control body - and the foreign and interior ministries.

German officials said Dublin had been of concern for some time, giving the rising infection rates. They held off declaring it a risk zone last week, along with Vienna and Amsterdam, to see if the numbers dropped. Also on Wednesday, the entire Czech Republic, neighbouring Germany, is expected to be declared a risk area.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, who was in Berlin from Saturday to Monday, is restricting his movements after coming into contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.

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