Previously in Germany, a pre-departure test was only required for those coming from certain countries defined as high-risk areas. However, different regulations apply to those arriving by road, rail, or sea where the test can be taken after arrival.

Anyone arriving from a risk area as per the government list must also quarantine on arrival for 10 days and take a second test at the earliest five days after arrival.

The new rules came into force on 30 March after Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel announced an extension to the country’s lockdown until at least 18 April in order to tackle a third Covid wave. The rules will remain in place up to and including 12 May but may be extended.

Queensland lockdown ended

In Australia, the Queensland government ended the three-day lockdown of Brisbane that it had announced in response to the spread of the highly infectious B117 variant of Covid-19 in the state capital.

In a press conference announcing that there would be no extension of the lockdown, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Chief Health Officer Dr. Jeannette Young invoked low case numbers to justify the decision. After at least 17 local infections were detected in the first several days of the outbreak, just one new case was confirmed yesterday from more than 30,000 tests, and none were reported this morning.

Elsewhere in Australia, the Victorian government has been forced to revise a planned increase in repatriations after federal authorities rejected their bid to provide 120 additional places to people trying to return to the state.

The government had intended to increase the number of arrivals from 800 per week, to commence on 8 April, to 1,120 per week on 15 April. Instead, 1000 arrivals will be allowed in Victoria per week.

Fully vaccinated US citizens can travel

Meanwhile, in the US, vaccinated people can travel safely domestically without quarantine or pre-travel Covid-19 testing, according to updated guidance released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

For domestic travel, the CDC said fully vaccinated travelers ‘can travel safely within the US’ and have no need to self-quarantine or test for Covid-19 either before or after travel unless their destination requires it.

The new guidance remains more cautious around international travel, noting that ‘even fully vaccinated travelers are at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading new Covid-19 variants’. The requirement for inbound international travelers to have a negative Covid-19 test taken within three days of boarding a flight remain in place even for fully vaccinated travelers, and the guidance recommends another test three to five days after arrival in the US.