August 11, 2020
Even though most of Europe is on summer vacation, COVID-19 isn’t going anywhere. To help reduce pandemic-related risks, Germany’s Federal government continues to release guidance for travelers returning to Germany.
High-Risk Zones: Getting More Specific
For months, the Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s federal agency for disease control and research, has offered guidance related to COVID-19. When European travel restrictions were eased in June, the Institute published a list of more than 100 “international risk” countries. If possible, these were places to avoid.
As summer wears on, the list is getting even more specific. During the past two weeks, the German government has reclassified the following European areas as risk zones:
- Belgium: Antwerp area
- Bulgaria: Blagoevgrad, Dobritch and Varna provinces
- Romania: Argeș, Bihor, Buzău, Neamt, Ialomita, Mehedinti and Timis counties
- Spain: Aragon, Catalonia and Navarre regions
It is also important to note that the United States is classified as a high risk area.
Mandatory Testing for High-Risk Returnees
Beginning this past weekend, travelers returning from high-risk areas are required to take a coronavirus test immediately upon arrival, or show proof of a recent negative test. These tests are available at all major German airports. For the moment, tests are given at no cost.
What About Quarantine?
People returning from high-risk areas, including the U.S., are still required to enter a 14-day quarantine period, unless the coronavirus test comes back negative.
For more information, including a frequently updated list of high-risk countries, visit the Robert Koch Institute.
For U.S. government employees, including service members, remember to always follow command regulations, which may be different than host nation policies, when it comes to travel.