Thursday, July 7

Germany lists all of Spain as COVID-19 risk area- ministry

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BERLIN — Germany has declared all of Spain a coronavirus risk area, the foreign ministry said on Friday, after Spain’s COVID-19 infection rate more than doubled in a week as the Delta variant spreads rapidly among unvaccinated younger adults.

The move, which includes the popular tourist destinations of the Balearic and Canary islands and takes effect on Sunday, will have a small immediate impact on travelers as it merely means they have to provide a negative test to avoid quarantine.

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However, a further rise in the infection rate in Spain could lead to mandatory quarantine for unvaccinated travelers, casting uncertainty over travel demand ahead of the peak school summer holiday season, during which Germans flock to sunny beach destinations.

Highly dependent on tourism, Spain is trying to strike a delicate balance between opening up enough to entice back travelers while keeping infections in check to avoid putting off potential visitors.

Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto said earlier on Friday that Spain was a safe destination for tourists, citing its vaccination program and the number of hospitalized patients being kept under control.

She spoke after a report that Germany planned to add Spain to its risk list and after French Junior European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune advised French people on Thursday to avoid Spain and Portugal for their summer holidays.

Germany’s foreign ministry also said it was designating Cyprus as a high incidence area, meaning that incoming travelers must quarantine – which can be shortened if they test negative five days after entering the country. (Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Riham Alkousaa and Alex Richardson )