Germany relaxes restrictions for travelers from UK and other countries

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Passengers walk through a terminal at Frankfurt Airport, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Frankfurt, Germany, April 1, 2021. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

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BERLIN, July 5 (Reuters) - Germany's public health institute said on Monday the United Kingdom, India, Nepal, Portugal and Russia were no longer "areas of variant concern", reducing travel restrictions for people arriving from those countries.

All five countries had been downgraded to "high incidence areas", the Robert Koch Institute said, meaning their citizens can now travel to Germany and quarantine on arrival for 10 days.

The quarantine period can be shortened to five days if they test negative for COVID-19, and people who are fully vaccinated can avoid quarantine altogether.

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Prior to the change in classification, travelers from the four countries were banned from entering Germany unless they were residents, in which case they had to quarantine for 14 days on arrival.

The decisions, effective from Wednesday, come after Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday Britons who have had two COVID-19 vaccinations would soon be able to travel to Germany without going into quarantine on arrival. read more

Earlier on Monday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out plans to end social and economic COVID-19 restrictions in England in two weeks' time, a test of whether a rapid vaccine rollout offers enough protection from the highly contagious Delta variant. read more

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Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Diane Craft and Sonya Hepinstall

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