Germany welcomes vaccinated Indians
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Germany welcomes vaccinated Indians
Starting Wednesday (July 7), Germany open its doors to fully vaccinated travellers from India — those who have got Covishield jabs as Covaxin is yet to get WHO approval — without any need for quarantine. While neighbouring Switzerland took the same decision late last month, Germany has gone a step ahead by accepting proof of recent convalescence from Covid also.

These changes come as Germany will from Wednesday reclassify India, UK, Portugal and Russia as “high (Covid) incidence areas” — down from the higher travel restriction level of “virus variant areas” list which India was on from April 26, 2021, to July 6. Now, eligible travellers from India can also transit via Frankfurt to other Schengen states. “Travellers who spent time in a high-incidence area may end quarantine prematurely by submitting proof of recovery or a vaccination certificate via the travel portal or, after five days, by opting to 'test themselves free’ and presenting a negative test result,” German health ministry website says.

German ambassador to India, Walter J Lindner, tweeted Tuesday: “Promised to work hard on easing travel restrictions for travellers from India and update you immediately. And voila: from (July 7) Germany is removing entry ban and easing travel rules for five countries where the Delta variant is widespread, including India!” The change comes just in time for the fall academic session with large number of Indian students requiring to join German colleges. However, the backlog of visa applications will mean it will take some time before the same is processed — something witnessed by Indian students headed to US also last month. “Due to ongoing Covid repercussions and precaution measures, the restart of our visa services will be gradual, so we ask for your patience and understanding as we cannot process all applications immediately,” Ambassador Lindner tweeted Tuesday night.

To seek exemption from quarantine, travellers must have received the second Covid jab — or only one dose in the case of a person who has recovered from coronavirus — at least 14 days before the date of travel, says website of Germany’s federal interior ministry. A positive PCR test result carried out at least 28 days but no more than six months previously will be proof of recovery.

All travellers from high Covid incidence areas like India have to register on before entering Germany. A Covid negative is needed to be allowed to board a fight to Germany, taken within 72 hours (RT-PCR) before scheduled arrival time in Germany.

Children below 6 years are exempt from the testing requirement. “Violation of registration and quarantine requirements can lead to a fine of up to Euro 25,000,” the website says.