Are channels dangerous in Great Britain

Corona variant: Federal government classifies Great Britain as a virus variant area

The federal government has classified Great Britain and Northern Ireland as a virus variant area because of the spread of the corona mutation B.1.627.2 from India. "We want to play it safe. In this important phase of the vaccination campaign, the entry of problematic mutations must be avoided as far as possible," the Reuters news agency learned from government circles.

The classification means a ban on passenger transport by train, bus, ship and flight, announced the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). Anyone who nevertheless enters from Great Britain has to be in quarantine for 14 days and cannot "free themselves" like those coming from Corona risk areas. The quarantine rules also apply to people with full vaccination protection and those who have recovered.

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According to the RKI, the regulation also affects all Channel Islands and all British overseas territories and comes into force from Saturday to Sunday. A country can be classified as a virus variant area because of the spread of a mutation or if a particularly aggressive virus is suspected.

"If we want to keep the number of infections down, we have to prevent contagious virus variants from jeopardizing this positive development. This step is tough for Great Britain, but it is necessary to prevent the rapid spread of the Indian variant in Germany," said a spokesman for the Federal Ministry of Health. Only when more people are vaccinated will Germany be armed against such a danger.

More tests and vaccinations against the variant

Great Britain has meanwhile been seen as a successful model when it comes to combating the corona pandemic. A hard lockdown and a high rate of vaccination had pushed the infection numbers so far that the federal government temporarily removed the country from the list of corona risk areas. Last week, it was again placed in the lowest risk category because of the Indian variant of the virus. As of Sunday, the UK will have the highest risk level.

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The UK government has so far been confident of controlling the spread. The test capacities were significantly increased in the affected areas. In addition, everyone over the age of 18 can be vaccinated there, and mobile vaccination centers are in use. Nationwide, only people aged 34 and over are actually eligible to receive a dose.

Criticism of Prime Minister Boris Johnson

The British government only declared India a risk area after weeks of the outbreak and put it on a "red list" for travel. That caused criticism. Those who return from such "red countries" have to be quarantined in a hotel for ten days immediately after arrival at their own expense. Johnson canceled a visit to India planned for late April to discuss a free trade agreement. That is why the South Asian country was only put on the "red list" weeks after its neighboring states Bangladesh and Pakistan.

In addition, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago are seen by the federal government as a high incidence area. In contrast, France is now only classified as a risk area and no longer as a high incidence area. This downgrade also applies to Croatia and Slovenia. The federal government had declared Great Britain a risk area only a week ago because of the spreading mutation from India.