BERLIN, March 30 (Xinhua) — All passengers entering Germany via air travel now have to have a negative COVID-19 test, according to new regulations that came into force on Tuesday.
The negative test result has to be presented to the airline before departure and travelers would have to pay for the tests themselves, according to the Ministry of Health. In addition, the tests have to be conducted no more than 48 hours before entering Germany.
The regulation, effective till at least May 12, 2021, is a precautionary measure. “Those who do not have a negative test will not be taken along,” Health Minister Jens Spahn said in a statement on Friday.
The German government stressed that the appearance of various COVID-19 variants and their spread worldwide had shown that cross-border travel still had to be “limited to the absolute minimum necessary.”
Eighty-five percent of Germans were in favor of mandatory COVID-19 tests for all travelers flying to Germany, an ongoing survey conducted by the market research institute YouGov found.
Despite local restrictions and the ongoing lockdown, many Germans have used the opportunity to go on holiday abroad, most notably to Spain, as soon as airlines started to offer tourist flights again.
Germany-based tourism group TUI said last week that COVID-19 vaccination campaigns, rapid tests and progress in dealing with the pandemic were having a “positive impact on booking behavior” as bookings for summer 2021 remained at an “encouraging level.”
To date, more than 2.79 million COVID-19 infections have been officially registered in Germany since the outbreak of the pandemic. The death toll climbed to 76,093 on Tuesday, according to Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the federal agency responsible for disease prevention and control. Enditem