Germany places Czech Republic on list of high-risk regions for COVID-19

From midnight tonight, cross-border commuters regularly travelling to Bavaria will need a new COVID-19 test every 48 hours


Written by ČTK Published on 23.01.2021 09:37:00 (updated on 23.01.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

Berlin, Jan 22 (CTK) - Germany has placed the Czech Republic on its list of high-risk regions for COVID-19, the Robert Koch Institute, who administers the list, has announced.

Stricter rules for travelling from the Czech Republic to Germany will take effect as of Saturday midnight. This will mainly cause complications for commuters regularly commuting across the German border.

Saxony has announced that it will require two negative COVID-19 tests per week from Czech commuters. Bavaria, meanwhile, did not introduce an exception for commuters and will require a new test for every 48 hours.

The decision to list a region as a high-risk area is made in Germany by its health, interior and foreign ministries, and declared by the Robert Koch Institute. There are 25 countries or areas on the German list of COVID-19 high-risk regions.

The addition of the Czech Republic to the list was expected. The country has recently crossed the German criterion for being high-risk, with more than 200 new cases per 100,000 residents over the past week.

Other EU countries on this list are the Baltic states, Slovenia, Portugal and Spain.

Czech politicians have prepared for the change, negotiating conditions with German counterparts, as the epidemiological situation in the Czech Republic has long been worse than that in Germany.

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš proposed to Chancellor Angela Merkel that commuters only be required to undergo COVID-19 testing twice a week, with one test being paid for by the Czech Republic and one by Germany.

Saxony has agreed with the compromise, while Bavaria has not agreed with it. Bavaria has been introducing tighter anti-epidemic restrictions than other parts of Germany for some time.

Saxony's government said the goal is to secure the highest possible protection from bringing the virus from the Czech Republic, and to provide the best possible travel conditions for foreign commuters.

The Czech general consulate in Munich said the test for COVID-19 concerns only entering Bavaria. If Czech commuters stay in Bavaria for more than 48 hours, they do not have to take another test.

Non-commuters coming to Germany from the Czech Republic will be required to present a negative test for COVID-19 at the border, and they will also have to quarantine for ten days. The quarantine may be shortened to five days if they take another test which comes back negative.

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