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Germany’s health agency said on Monday that it will lift the ban on most travelers from India, the United Kingdom, and three other countries hit by the Delta variant of coronavirus.

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI), a German federal government agency said India, Nepal, Russia, Portugal, and the UK, currently listed as so-called virus variant countries, would be reclassified from Wednesday as “high-incidence areas”.

The current rules in Germany allow only its citizens to enter the country from a variant nation and are subjected to two-week quarantine, regardless of their vaccination status.

The “high-incidence areas” status will allow anyone from such countries to enter Germany provided they produce a negative test on arrival and quarantine on arrival for 10 days.

The quarantine period can be shortened to five days if they test negative for Covid-19. The new norms will be effective from Wednesday.

Travelers from high-incidence areas are also exempt from quarantine if they have been fully vaccinated.

German health minister Jens Spahn had said last week that the federal government will look into the situation (of allowing travelers from delta variant-hit countries) “in the next few days”.

The relaxation in curbs is driven by the fact that vaccines have been found effective against the delta variant, which was first discovered in India.

“We think that in the foreseeable future, those who have received double jabs will… be able to travel again, without having to go into quarantine,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel had said on Friday.

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