Merkel Signals Germany to Declare France High-Risk Covid Area


Chancellor Angela Merkel signaled that Germany will declare France a high-incidence virus area, which would trigger a negative Covid-19 test requirement for anyone entering from France.

The decision will be based on data Germany has been using during the pandemic that looks at per-capita case rate over a certain time span to determine high-risk regions or countries, Merkel said.

While suggesting a decision is imminent, she said “that doesn’t mean, for example, that there will be border controls.”

“That’s often misunderstood,” Merkel said on Thursday after a summit of European Union leaders also attended by French President Emmanuel Macron. “There will be a clear procedure on who has to present tests and how often.”

If confirmed, Germany’s designation is likely to raise concern in German-French border areas, where two-nation commuter and commercial traffic is part of everyday life. Paris returned to lockdown last week and the number of other restricted areas in France was widened on Thursday in a bid to relieve pressure on hospitals, which have been canceling surgeries to treat Covid-19 patients.

“It will be discussed with France,” Merkel said. “I don’t think this is any special or extraordinary measure. But if you look at the incidence rate, it is factually necessary.”

Any decision on France will be based on an analysis by Germany’s Robert Koch Institute health agency.

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