Germany lifts travel restrictions as Omicron wave eases

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Germany can now begin easing restrictions to limit the spread of the coronavirus, the health minister said on Tuesday, as the wave of infections eased, with Omicron’s version.

“The peak of the Omicron wave has passed,” Karl Lauterbach told Bild newspaper, adding that he supports a “moderate relaxation” of restrictions.

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On Tuesday, Germany reported 159,217 new daily coronavirus cases, down 6% from the same day last week. On Monday, the seven-day infection cases per 100,000 people also fell from 1,460 to 1,437.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the heads of the federal states will meet on Wednesday to discuss easing rules, such as dropping requirements for shoppers at non-essential stores to show proof of vaccination or a negative test result.

Some parts of Germany have already started lifting restrictions, with Bavaria announcing it will increase numbers allowed at cultural and sporting events and permit unvaccinated people can return to restaurants as long as they test negative.

A requirement to wear masks indoors and on public transportation is to remain in place.

Travellers who are six years of age or older entitled to travel to Germany must carry proof of the following upon entry into Germany:

  • a negative COVID-19 test result or
  • evidence of a complete COVID-19 vaccination or
  • evidence of recovery from an infection.

This proof must be held before entry into the country and, where applicable, presented to the airline before departure.

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The exemption especially applies to persons who have passed through a high-risk area without stopping.

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