COVID-19: Germany announces quarantine for travellers from UK

People travelling from Britain to Germany will have to quarantine from midnight on Monday and provide a negative COVID test.

Regional health ministers urged the government on Saturday to introduce tougher rules amid surging cases of the Omicron variant in the UK.

They called for a two-week quarantine period, including for vaccinated travellers.

“The spread of Omicron in the UK is very evident… We have to prevent the spread for as long as possible and slow it down as much as possible,” the ministers said in a statement.

It comes after France announced a ban on travel to and from the UK unless there is a “compelling” reason – tourism and business do not qualify.

That order came in to force at 11pm on Friday.

The Netherlands also said a tough lockdown will begin on Sunday in a bid to slow Omicron, with non-essential shops, bars, restaurants, and other public places to close.

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Infections in Germany rose steeply in October and November but have fallen this month, with just under 51,000 reported on Friday.

Like Britain, it is ramping up its booster vaccine programme and on Wednesday hit a new one-day high when 1.5 million jabs were administered.

The UK is currently Europe’s Omicron hotspot and reported more than 10,000 new Omicron cases on Saturday – three times as many as Friday.

Total cases exceeded 90,000 for a second day running.

Senior government scientists say extra restrictions are needed to prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed by patients in the coming weeks.

Ministers are drawing up plans for a two-week “circuit breaker” lockdown after Christmas, according to the Times.