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Germany to declare Dublin a Covid-19 risk area due to high number of coronavirus cases


Germany is to declare Dublin a Covid-19 risk area today, requiring anyone arriving from the Irish capital to take a free Covid-19 test.

Berlin defines a risk area as anywhere with a new infection rate above 50 per 100,000 of population in the last seven days.

From Thursday, all arrivals from Dublin to Germany are required to take a test either on arrival or within 10 days. They must self-isolate until they receive a negative test result. Anyone who can produce a negative test result from the Irish authorities – no older than 48 hours – is exempted from another test and isolation, but are encouraged to take a second test on arrival in Germany.

A positive test result requires up to 10 days’ quarantine, with local health authorities carrying out random checks based on contact form details. Fines vary in each of Germany’s 16 federal states for breaching quarantine provisions. Berlin imposes fines of up to €3,000 while Bavaria – with one of Germany’s highest infection rates – may impose a fine or imprisonment of up to two years.

Testing is available free of charge at all German airports with flights to and from Ireland.

Wednesday’s decision was taken after consultation between the Robert Koch Institute – Germany’s disease control body – and the foreign and interior ministries.

German officials said Dublin had been of concern for some time, giving the rising infection rates. They held off declaring it a risk zone last week, along with Vienna and Amsterdam, to see if the numbers dropped. Also on Wednesday, the entire Czech Republic, neighbouring Germany, is expected to be declared a risk area.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, who was in Berlin from Saturday to Monday, is restricting his movements after coming into contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.

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