Germany to classify S'pore as 'high-risk' area, vaccinated travellers still allowed to skip quarantine

Most fully vaccinated travellers will still be allowed to enter Germany without needing to quarantine, but a digital registration will now be mandatory. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Germany will begin classifying Singapore as among its list of "high-risk" Covid-19 areas on Sunday (Oct 24), its government health agency Robert Koch Institute announced.

Singapore and four other countries - Bulgaria, Cameroon, Croatia and the Republic of Congo - will be added to the list, according to the agency, citing a joint report from Germany's Ministry of Health, its Foreign Office and the Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community published on Friday.

Most fully vaccinated travellers will still be allowed to enter Germany without needing to quarantine, according to the German Embassy in Singapore, but a digital registration on before arriving in Germany will now be mandatory.

The digital registration will require incoming travellers to provide proof of vaccination, a negative result from a Covid-19 test or recovery from the virus.

But the embassy added that unvaccinated children below the age of 12 will have to quarantine for five days upon arrival.

Germany is one of 11 countries to have established a Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) scheme with Singapore, where travellers returning to the Republic from any of those countries will be exempt from quarantine should they test negative for Covid-19 upon arrival and in a pre-departure test.

The joint ministry report said that Germany classifies high-risk areas as regions with an "especially high" number of new cases, notably if the area's average seven-day Covid-19 infection incidence rate per 100,000 people is more than 100.

Data published by the World Health Organisation, and cited by travel site Schengen Visa Info, shows that the incidence rate of newly reported cases in the last seven days per 100,000 people for Singapore was 396.42, well over Germany's preferred threshold and its own incidence rate of 90.26.

Germany's move comes days after the United States moved Singapore to its highest risk category by its Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. The US, which also has VTL ties with Singapore, recommends that people should avoid travelling to places designated with a Level 4 "very high Covid-19" risk.

Singapore has reported higher daily Covid-19 related death tolls this past week, including a record 18 deaths on Wednesday, amid a spike in daily new infections.

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