Germany has dropped all its COVID-19 entry restrictions for all international arrivals, either from the EU or from third countries around the world, meaning that entry is permitted for all travel purposes, including tourism. This is despite Germany currently experiencing a “summer wave” of Omicron.
German authorities decided to lift the entry rules after taking into account the high vaccination rates in the country and globally, as well as the low infection rates, Schengen Visa Info reports.
92,9% of the German adult population has completed the primary vaccination, and another 71,5% has received an additional vaccine dose.
However, Health Minister, Karl Lauterbach, said the country should prepare for stricter coronavirus rules as the winter months approached, according to Deutsche Weile.
Lauterbach, who is an epidemiologist, conceded that current data did not justify making mask-wearing a legal requirement at present, but he said it made sense for masks to be worn indoors on a voluntary basis.
"This must be a norm," he said.
In Germany, public transport users are still obliged to wear masks.
Germany is experiencing a wave of infections, but Lauterbach said there was no need to panic, while pointing out that COVID still posed a deadly risk for some.
The Minister said those infected with the earliest version of Omicron might still be vulnerable to reinfection with later versions of the variant, even if they had been vaccinated and boosted, new findings – which were published in weekly international journal Nature – suggested on Friday.