Germany imposed new travel restrictions against mutated Corona virus strains. Travel bans for the UK, South Africa and Brazil, as well as EU countries Portugal and Ireland will be valid from 00:00 at night, connecting Friday, January 29 to Saturday, January 30, until February 17. While all flights are suspended, German citizens living in these countries will be allowed to return to Germany.
Germany announced that starting Sunday, a travel ban will be imposed on Lesotho and Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland, in Africa.
Confirming the news in the German press, Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer announced that the draft for reducing air traffic to zero in some destinations is ready and will probably be approved by the government on Friday.
It was reported that the government first thought of waiting for the new travel restrictions decision by the European Union in this direction, but Germany decided to act alone, as it became difficult to take a common stance in the EU.
According to the plan, in the first place, all flights with England, Portugal, South Africa and Brazil will be suspended from Saturday onwards. While the Germans living in these countries are exceptionally allowed to return to Germany, no statement has yet been made on the situation of the citizens of these countries living in Germany. A ministry spokesman stated that if the mutation becomes threatening in other countries, the planned flight ban could be extended.
Merkel: “Vacationers do not realize that we are sitting on a powder keg ready to explode.”
Chancellor Angela Merkel drew attention to the dangers of new variants of the virus at her party’s group heads meeting earlier this week, and described the continuation of international air traffic as a “great danger”. Merkel, who exemplifies the holiday of 50 thousand people in the Canary Islands of Spain during the Christmas and New Year holidays, stated that all efforts may be wasted in the fight against Corona, “In this case, those who are still flying for a holiday do not realize that we are sitting on a gunpowder barrel ready to explode.” he spoke.
Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said the goal of the flight ban is “to prevent the highly contagious virus from coming to Germany”. Christian Lindner, chairman of the opposition party Free Democratic Party (FDP), criticized the federal government and stated that plans to expand the scope of travel restrictions would not be of any use, but instead, tests should be tightened at airports and before flights.
In the comments made in Berlin, it is stated that Germany’s largest airline company Lufthansa, which flies to these countries due to the travel ban, will be adversely affected and its economic situation will worsen. Lufthansa, despite reducing its flights due to the pandemic and state aid, lost 5 billion 600 million Euros in the past year and announced that at least 29 thousand employees will be dismissed in 2021.
Case numbers are falling
Meanwhile, the decline in the number of new cases continues in Germany. While the number of cases detected in the last 24 hours was announced as 14 thousand 883, the number of cases according to the population of 100 thousand in the last 7 days was 98 for the first time since last October. The epidemic claimed 1,385 lives in the last 24 hours.
Vaccine summit recommendation
On the other hand, the news of the production and supply problem from the vaccine companies caused intense reactions, while Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn stated that the difficulties in the vaccine supply process will continue for at least 10 more weeks.
Stating that in addition to the delay in BioNTech, AstraZeneca’s announcement that it could only give 31 million doses of the 80 million doses of vaccine it had promised in the first place turned all plans upside down, Minister Spahn said that all states and the federal government will participate in order to address how the fight against the epidemic will continue. vaccine summit “proposed.