Government agrees on compulsory testing for travelers returning from August 1st
Recently, a dispute broke out about how to deal with returning travelers. Meanwhile, the number of infections from vacationers is increasing. Now there is compulsory testing from Sunday. There are exceptions for those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered.
Dhe federal government has agreed on the introduction of a general compulsory test for travelers returning from Sunday. Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) confirmed corresponding media reports on Thursday evening in the ARD daily topics. The Düsseldorf “Handelsblatt” had previously reported that the state secretaries of the ministries involved had taken the decision that afternoon.
As the “Bild” reported, referring to the cabinet submission, from Sunday “all immigrants who have reached the age of twelve” must have evidence of a test, vaccination or recovery. Accordingly, cross-border commuters and travelers passing through are excluded. Random checks are to be carried out at the borders, said a representative of the federal police.
The regulation is to be passed by the federal cabinet on Friday and will apply from Sunday. According to this, not only air travelers, but also people who come to Germany by car, train or ship should submit a test when they enter Germany. This mandatory test is already in place for air travelers.
According to the “Handelsblatt”, there were only small changes to the draft of the Federal Ministry of Health, which had already been agreed in advance between the departments. Concerns are out of the way. There is now a consensus. When entering from an area with worrying virus variants, a test certificate should always be necessary – even for vaccinated persons.
The prime ministers of several federal states, above all Bavaria’s Markus Söder (CSU), had been calling for this step for a long time. The head of government of Rhineland-Palatinate, Malu Dreyer (SPD), also joined in, “so that schools and daycare centers are no longer endangered in their presence this year”. “Better to be late than not at all,” said Baden-Württemberg’s Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann (Greens).
“In the end, it ensures that the tourism industry gets another blow in the neck”
Vice Chancellor Scholz justified the decision in favor of a general test obligation with better protection of the population: “Current developments suggest that travelers who are not fully vaccinated or have recovered should be tested on their return to Germany – regardless of the question which area they come and which means of transport they use, ”Scholz told the newspapers of the Funke media group (Friday editions).
This step serves the safety of all people. The delta variant is highly contagious and the number of infections has increased. “Testing brings more security,” said Scholz. He does not feel the obligation to test as a particular imposition. “Although I have been vaccinated twice and live in a country with comparatively low incidences, I continue to get regular tests if I want,” he said.
The chairman of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV), Andreas Gassen, welcomed the move as a means against vaccination fatigue in some people. “Perhaps some of the people who have not yet been vaccinated could still be brought to the vaccination through this,” Gassen told the editorial network Germany (RND). However, he criticized the short-term implementation of the project and called for fully vaccinated people to be excluded from the obligation to test.
Criticism came from the FDP. An obligation to test unsettled the travelers “and in the end it ensures that the tourism industry gets another blow in the neck,” said the member of the Bundestag Marcel Klinge of the ARD. Regular testing has long been “part of the practice of the corona pandemic,” replied Vice Chancellor Scholz. Many travelers would have already had themselves tested voluntarily or because this was required in the country of travel.