German Health Minister Jens Spahn said that arrivals from countries designated as high-risk over the coronavirus pandemic are partly responsible from the recent rise in infection figures. Spahn said that Western Balkan countries and Turkey were among these high-risk countries.
The German minister made these comments during a press conference in Berlin on Aug. 6. He said that although domestic cases were far more prevalent in the statistics, return of Germans from holiday destinations was also a factor behind the virus’ spread in the country.
For the first time in three months, Germany on Aug. 6 registered more than 1,000 confirmed virus infections. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) announced on Aug. 6 that a total of 1,045 confirmed cases of COVID-19 were recorded in the country within 24 hours.
In the face of this spike, Spahn announced wide-reaching new testing measures for arrivals in the country, saying that starting on Aug. 8, everyone arriving from high-risk areas will be tested for the disease unless they can produce a negative test certificate no more than two days old. It will be compulsory for those tested to stay in quarantine until the test result is shown to be positive, the minister said.
Spahn also said that if one resists being tested, they will be fined, calling the measures “a reasonable intrusion into someone’s privacy.” “We have a duty as a society to look after each other … Freedom goes hand in hand with responsibility.”
Germany on Aug. 4 announced that it lifted a warning against travelling to four Turkish seaside provinces with low coronavirus infection rates as part of a deal to help revive tourism between the two countries.
It said it was dropping warnings against travel to Antalya, İzmir, Aydın and Muğla on the Mediterranean, where prevalence stood at only five new cases per 100,000 inhabitants per week.