Germany Eases Travel Restrictions
Indians can now breathe a little relief. On Tuesday, Germany declared that it is easing restrictions and lifting the travel ban on people flying in from India and four other countries. India, Russia, Portugal, Nepal, and the UK have now been declared as “low incidence areas”. This has opened German gates for an inflow of students, travelers, and other aspirants.
Aspirations on Hold
The Robert Koch Institute – a German federal agency and institute of research – classified India as a “high incidence area” until 6th July 2021. As an “area of variant concern”, Germany blocked the country from entering it due to the fast-spreading Delta variant of Covid-19. Since 26th April 2021, only a few Indians could enter Germany. These included those who are permanent residents of Germany, health workers, or German nationals. The second wave of the pandemic saw a loss in local livelihoods and the quashing of aspirations of students and employees. Many had been looking to migrate abroad for higher education and employment opportunities.
Travel into the European Union has caused concern for New Delhi after the requirement of the Covid “Green Pass” was made mandatory. This was because the system only recognizes vaccines approved by the internal European Medical Agency (EMA). However, now countries like Germany are making use of the clause that allows each state to make an independent decision of accepting WHO-recognised vaccines for entry onto their ground. Breaking the tension, German ambassador Walter Lindner announced changes in travel restrictions in his Tuesday tweet: “Promised to work hard on easing travel restrictions for travelers from [India] and update you immediately. And voila: from tomorrow on [Germany] is removing the entry ban and easing travel rules for 5 countries where the Delta variant is widespread, including [India]! Details soon on the website…..”
What You Need to Know
From 7th July 2021, citizens of five countries can travel to Germany provided that they home quarantine for 10 days on arrival. For air travel to Germany, one must present either a negative Covid test result or proof of vaccination or recovery. For such persons who test negative for Covid-19 or are fully vaccinated, the home quarantine system may be cut short to five days or lifted completely respectively as well.