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Germany to shut out all travelers arriving from India

Germany will shut out all travellers arriving from India apart from its own citizens, Health Minister Jens Spahn said Saturday, as a new variant has made the South Asian country the latest coronavirus hotspot.

“We’re very worried about the new mutation of the virus discovered in India. So as not to endanger our vaccination programme, India travel has to be significantly limited,” Spahn told the Funke newspaper group.

From Monday, only German citizens will be allowed to enter the country when arriving from India, he added.

As Spahn plans to designate India a “virus variant zone”, travellers will have to be tested before departure for Germany and immediately enter a 14-day quarantine on arrival.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 08, 2021 Elderly people wait at the coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccination center for their vaccination in Cologne, western Germany, on February 8, 2021. – With nearly one billion vaccine doses against Covid-19 administered worldwide on April 24, 2021, according to an AFP tally, we look back at some of the more unusual locations where vaccinations have been given across the world. (Photo by Ina FASSBENDER / AFP)

Berlin had already dubbed India a “zone with a particularly high risk of infection” with effect from Sunday.

Germany is the latest of several countries to restrict travel from India over the new variant, following Canada, Britain and Kuwait.

On Saturday, India reported a record daily number of deaths from Covid-19, while the government is struggling to provide enough oxygen to overwhelmed hospitals.

Testing staff of non-profit organisation Albatros takes a swab sample for a coronavirus (Covid-19) from a person at the ‘Haus der Weisheit’ (House of Wisdom) Mosque in Berlin’s Moabit district on April 23, 2021. (Photo by Tobias Schwarz / AFP)

A total of almost 190,000 people have died of coronavirus in India according to official figures.

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