Jan 29, 2021 - World

Germany to impose travel restrictions to curb spread of coronavirus variants

Photo of a masked police officer checking a masked passenger's documents

Border police officers check passports and COVID-19 tests at Frankfurt Airport. Photo: Thomas Lohnes via Getty Images

Germany announced Friday that it was imposing new travel restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of more contagious coronavirus variants.

Details: All non-German residents traveling from countries deemed "areas of variant concern," including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Portugal, Ireland, Brazil, Lesotho and Eswatini, will be banned from entering the country, even if they test negative for the coronavirus.

  • The restrictions go into effect over the weekend and will remain in place until at least Feb. 17.
  • Some exemptions exist for health workers and some special cases.

The big picture: Several mutated strains of SARS-CoV-2 that are more contagious have been detected in a number of countries.

  • The B.1.1.7 variant, first detected in the U.K., has spread rapidly across Europe.
  • That variant forced a Berlin hospital into lockdown on Jan. 23, Reuters reports.
  • Germany has recorded more than 2.2 million cases and 56,286 deaths, per Johns Hopkins University data.

Go deeper: Coronavirus variants demand a tougher response

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