Germany is considering a drastic reduction in air traffic with the UK, Brazil, South Africa and Portugal to protect itself against the new coronavirus strains, German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said Thursday.
“We are focusing on the mutation zones for this proposed travel restriction,” Seehofer told the press, citing these four countries.
A draft regulation to this effect will be presented on Friday by the German government, he added, specifying that it will provide for few exceptions to this suspension of connections to these destinations, adding that he is “in favour of a very restrictive rule.”
“The basic decision is that we do not want any traffic, no entry of transfer zones into our territory and we are examining from the point of view of proportionality which exceptions are indispensable,” he said.
Other countries could be added to the list of flight restrictions depending on the development of variants in their territory.
“We are trying to define which country is a mutation zone, which is less a political decision than a technical one” entrusted to the German health authorities.
The daily number of new infections in Germany has tended to fall below the 10,000 threshold in recent days, following further restrictions planned until mid-February.
The seven-day average incidence rate fell below 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants nationally on Thursday for the first time in three months.
The number of deaths remains high, however, and the authorities are worried about a future upsurge due to the various mutations of the virus, already present in several German regions.
In total, 2,178,828 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Germany, and 54,913 deaths, according to the latest information by the Robert Koch Institut (Germany’s equivalent of Sciensano).
The Brussels Times