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Germany drops Omicron travel rules for Britain, South Africa

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The German government has loosened travel rules for a number of countries, weeks after adding them to a danger list due to the outbreak of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Britain, South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini, Botswana, Malawi and Mozambique have all been removed from the nation’s list of areas of variants of concern, the Robert Koch Institute announced on Monday evening.

People travelling to Germany from those regions had to quarantine for two weeks after arrival, regardless of vaccination status and with no test-to-release option.

Under the rules, only German citizens and German residents were allowed back into the country from places on that list.

The changes come into effect as of Tuesday, after which no regions will be listed as variant of concern areas.

Britain and the eight African nations will instead be placed on Germany’s list of high-risk areas.

Travellers from those areas must quarantine for 10 days if they are unvaccinated and have not recovered from a coronavirus infection. The isolation period can be shortened if the person produces a negative test, but no earlier than day five.

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