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Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel
Israel is among five countries Germany has designated as high COVID-19 risk zonesImage: Gil Cohen Magen/Xinhua/picture alliance

COVID: Germany labels US, Israel, Turkey as 'high risk'

August 13, 2021

The announcement triggers automatic quarantine rules for travelers from those countries. Montenegro and Vietnam were also categorized as high-risk, while Portugal was downgraded.


Germany on Friday reclassified the United States, Israel, Turkey, Kenya, Montenegro and Vietnam as "high risk" COVID-19 areas.

The changes, which impact rules for travelers, will go into effect Sunday, except for Turkey, which will start Tuesday.

What has changed?

The reclassification triggers automatic quarantine rules laid out by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Germany's infectious disease authority.

Travelers entering Germany from those countries will now need to register online prior to their arrival. 

The rules mandate 10 days quarantine for all unvaccinated travelers — though this can be cut short with proof of a negative test after five days quarantine.

Fully vaccinated travelers or those who can present proof of having fully recovered from COVID-19 are not required to quarantine.

Livelihoods threatened as tourism suffers

Most of Portugal downgraded

Portugal was also reclassified on Friday, with the German government downgrading most of the country — except Algarve and Lisbon — from its prior high-risk status.

The downgraded status for Portugal will take effect on Sunday.

Popular vacation spots now 'high risk'

Turkey now joins Spain, France and Cyrus on the list of popular German tourist destinations designated as high-risk areas. 

Turkey has seen skyrocketing infection rates over the past several weeks after authorities relaxed coronavirus prevention measures. Whereas the country averaged roughly 7,000 new infections a day in July, it is currently booking over 20,000 a day.

By comparison, Germany registered 5,578 new infections Friday. 

In total, nearly 70 countries are included on the high-risk list.

js/rs (dpa, Reuters)

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