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Germany: Difference between the risk area and the HIGH risk area

The restrictions when crossing the border with Germany depend on the country from which we travel.  How is the risk area different from the high risk area ? We explain.

What is the risk area?

Federal Ministry of Health has identified an increased risk of contracting a dangerous infectious disease – in this case, coronavirus. The list of risk areas is updated on an ongoing basis. It can be found on the website of the Robert Koch Institute .

So what is a high risk area?

High risk areas are high-risk areas or viral variants . What does it mean? 

The areas with high incidence are those with a particularly high number of infections, i.e. the number of cases is several times higher than the average incidence recorded in 7 consecutive days per 100,000 inhabitants in Germany. 

People entering from particularly high-risk areas associated with a high number of infections must have a test result no earlier than 48 hours before entering Germany and show a negative test result to the carrier or border officer during the inspection.

The areas of occurrence of virus variants (mutations) are regions where the coronavirus mutation is widespread. In particular, if this option is not common in Germany and carries with it an exceptional risk.

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What is an exceptional risk?

  1. there is suspected or there is evidence that the virus variant in question is more easily transmitted, 
  2. due to its other properties, a given virus variant causes the infection to spread more quickly, 
  3. a given virus variant increases the severity of the disease 
  4. people who have already received the vaccine or have had COVID infection have at most little immunity to a given variant of the virus.

From January 30, 2021, in accordance with the regulation of the Federal Ministry of Health, the transport of people to Germany from high-risk areas related to virus mutations is only available to German citizens and to persons permanently residing in Germany. The regulations are valid at least until March 31, 2021.

Why is there a distinction between risk areas and areas of high risk?

It is necessary to distinguish between risk areas and particularly high risk areas. More stringent entry regulations are introduced for high-risk areas. This solution allows to limit the further transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and prevent the rapid spread of its new mutations. 

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