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Germany shuts frontiers to UK travellers while neighbours change rules – key points

Germany shuts frontiers to UK travellers while neighbours change rules – key points
Holidays, business trips and family visits are not allowed, but international flight connections are possible at Frankfurt or Munich

As another swathe of Europe imposes travel restrictions in a bid to try to stem the tide of the Omicron variante, these are the key questions and answers.

Why has Germany banned travel from the UK – and what are the rules?

Because of the extremely high level of Omicron infections, the UK is to be added to the list of “areas of variants of concern” at 11pm GMT on Sunday 19 dezembro (midnight German time).

Como resultado, British tourists, business travellers and people making family visits will be banned from entering Germany.

Only German citizens and British residence of Germany will be allowed to enter.

Travellers from the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and British Overseas Territories are covered by the same ban.

These locations join South Africa and seven other southern African nations “that can reasonably be believed to pose a particular risk”.

Are urgent family visits allowed?

I can see no legal exceptions, but in extreme circumstances – such as a close relative who is dying – travellers may be allowed in on compassionate grounds.

In such a situation the best approach is to contact the Foreign Office on 020 7008 1500.

What if I have a property in Germany?

Travelling to a second home is banned except for people who have official residence status in Germany.

If I am allowed in, what are the testing and quarantine rules?

Regardless of vaccination status, travellers aged 12 or over must present a negative test result: a PCR taken within 72 hours of entry to Germany or a lateral flow taken within 24 horas.

Two weeks of quarantine is mandatory. The German government says: “Make your way directly to your home – or other place of accommodation at your destination – upon arrival and remain isolated there.

Is there any flexibility on quarantine?

Não. The German authorities say: “After your arrival, further PCR testing may be ordered by the health authorities at the airport or at the place of isolation/quarantine.

“The duration of the 14-day quarantine may not be shortened.”

Contudo, were the UK to be taken off the list, quarantine automatically ends.

Can I change planes at Frankfurt or Munich?

sim, if your destination is outside Germany. The law says: “Airline passengers who are simply changing flights at an airport in the Federal Republic of Germany need not comply with the provisions of the Ordinance on Coronavirus Entry Regulations.”

A transfer to another EU/Schengen Area nation is allowed, even though travellers will need to go through German passport control.

“A direct transfer at an airport in order to continue one’s journey into another (Schengen) state is not considered an entry,” the rules state.

Can I enter from another country to avoid the travel ban?

Not if you have been in the UK in the past 10 dias. So you could “launder” your British status somewhere along the way, but you would of course have to adhere to all the rules of the intermediate country.

How long will this ban last?

The Robert Koch Institute, which compiles the list of areas of variants of concern, says the current classification will apply until 11pm GMT on 2 January – but could be extended.

The regulations on the obligation to quarantine will be in force at least until 15 Janeiro 2022.

What is happening in the Netherlands?

The nation has gone into lockdown, and restrictions on British visitors are being tightened.

At present fully vaccinated travellers from the UK are permitted, if they can show a negative Covid test: antigen taken no more than 24 hours before departure or PCR 48 hours before departure.

But from 22 dezembro, all travellers from the UK, irrespective of their vaccination status or possession of a negative test, must quarantine for 10 days upon arrival.

“This period can be reduced to five days if the traveller receives a negative test result from the Dutch authorities (GGD) on day five,”Diz o Foreign Office.

Austria is opening up, Apesar?

sim, the authorities say: “With Vienna re-opening hotels and restaurants/cafés/inns on 20 dezembro, the nationwide lockdown in Austria comes to an end.

“Travel to Austria for touristic purposes is possible for vaccinated and recovered people.

"Contudo, if you haven’t received your booster jab, you need a negative PCR test on top.”

The rules as published appear ambiguous and O Independente is seeking clarification.