Germans returning from high-risk countries will be tested for Covid-19 at airports, health officials say

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Main ports of entry to Germany will be equipped with testing counters to process travelers returning from countries most affected by the coronavirus – a measure to contain the risk of importing the virus from “high-risk areas.”

This will affect Germans returning not only from Covid-19 hotspots, but also from European holiday destinations, Berlin’s health chief, Dilek Kalayci, announced on Friday following a gathering of state health ministers.

All over the world, the epidemic situation is still “dynamic,” whereas the risk of importing the contagion from abroad remains high, she said. People will be required to proceed through “test centers” set up at the airports; anyone who tests positive will have to quarantine themselves at home.

“Travelers from non-risk countries can also be tested within 72 hours, but not at the airports,” she added. Tests will be free for all returnees, and the ‘exit card’ system will be brought back.

Passengers will be asked to leave their contact details so the authorities can trace the chain of transmission, Kalayci said.

Germany ranks fifth among European countries most affected by the epidemic. It has reported over 205,000 active cases and 9,100 deaths, with a mortality rate markedly lower than that of neighboring nations.

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