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GERMANY TO TEST TRAVELERS FROM AREAS WITH HIGH COVID-19 RISKS

Travelers returning to Germany from areas that are currently high risk for the novel coronavirus are to be compulsorily tested in future, Health Minister Jens Spahn said in Berlin on Monday, Sascha Meyer and Philipp Demling wrote for the Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) early on July 28, 2020.

Spahn told dpa that he would make use of his powers to "impose an obligation to test for those arriving from high-risk areas amid reports of a rising number of cases in traditional German summer holiday destinations. The tests will be free of charge. "We have to prevent those returning from abroad from infecting others and releasing a fresh chain of infections," Spahn said. Voluntary testing has been available at several German airports since the weekend.


Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff appealed to the public to adhere to social distancing and hygiene measures as the number of cases in Germany ticked up. "We have done well in the crisis so far, but it all comes down to acting now if we want to also get through the crisis in autumn and winter," Helge Braun said at a press conference. Braun stressed that it was still important to keep the recommended 1.5 meter distance from others.


He also urged people to observe good hygiene, including by frequently washing their hands, airing indoor spaces and wearing a mask when necessary. Masks are mandatory in shops and on public transport in Germany. Braun's comments came as regional outbreaks reemerged in Germany, including on a farm in Mamming where 174 workers recently tested positive for the virus. Germany's rise in infections has also coincided with the gradual reopening of travel across Europe.


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