By Meena Thiruvengadam
May 24, 2021
THE GERMAN GOVERNMENT PLANS TO allow visitors who have been vaccinated against or recovered from Covid-19 to skip mandatory testing and quarantines.
It also will permit travelers who test negative for Covid-19 to leave quarantine early. The relaxed restrictions won’t apply to travelers from countries where variants of concern are clustered, the Associated Press reported.
The loosening of travel restrictions in Germany comes as Bavaria is reopening its outdoor beer gardens. Munich is home of the world-famous Oktoberfest, Germany’s best-known cultural celebration, which has been canceled again this year, the AP reported.
Still, for an increasing number of vaccinated Germans, summer vacations are on the horizon as Covid-19 caseloads fall in parts of Europe.
Countries such as Spain, the U.K., France, Greece and Italy are preparing to reopen for international tourism. Beaches in Greece have already started to reopen. Museums are expected to follow closely behind. The U.K. has set up a traffic light system to govern travel to and from a number of European countries.
Germany also expects to roll out an app-based vaccine passport by the end of June.
An estimated one-third of Germany’s 83 million people have now received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. About 10 percent of the population has received two doses, according to official government figures, the AP reported.
Many children and teenagers have yet to be vaccinated, and some German doctors say they are facing increasing pressure from people looking for vaccines ahead of the summer vacation season.
Germany has reported more than 3.5 million cases of Covid-19 and just over 85,000 deaths, according to the latest available data from the World Health Organization (WHO).