Germany banned travel from Britain starting Saturday due to concerns over a variant of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Germany classified Britain as an “area of variant of concern,” and banned travel into the country to prevent virus spread, a post on the German Embassy’s website shows.
“There are local outbreaks occurring again, including cases of more infectious variants such as the Indian variant at present,” the post read.
The Embassy noted exceptions to the ban for German citizens and persons remaining in the airport transit area while transferring from one flight to another.
“We looked at all available data and details,” German Ambassador Andreas Michaelis tweeted early Saturday. “We did not take this step lightly.
Since March 30, all plane travelers to Germany have had to present a negative Covid-19 test that was taken up to 48 hours prior to departure. Starting on Sunday, anyone arriving in Germany will also have to show a negative Covid-19 test upon entry and must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
The B.1.617 variant accounts for 80 percent of Covid-19 cases in India and up to 20 percent of infections in Britain, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health professor David Peters said during a call with reporters Thursday.
Germany has 3.6 million cases and 87,320 deaths from Covid-19, the same tracker shows.