By Associated Press - Sunday, December 19, 2021

VIENNA — Germany is tightening travel restrictions for people coming from Britain in response to the rapid spread of the omicron variant there.

The country’s national disease control center, the Robert Koch Institute, added Britain to its list of “virus variant areas” late Saturday. This means anyone traveling from the U.K. to Germany must enter a mandatory quarantine for 14 days, regardless of their vaccination status.

The new restrictions, which take effect at midnight Sunday, come as the U.K. is reporting record-high numbers of new coronavirus infections. On Saturday, Britain saw 90,418 new COVID-19 cases, on Sunday it reported 82,886 more cases.

The U.K. joins eight African countries, including South Africa, on Germany’s list of “virus variant areas.”

The Robert Koch Institute’s announcement comes in the wake of tightened restrictions for other countries across Europe as the continent faces a fourth wave of infections.

Starting Sunday, Germany considers France and Denmark “high risk areas,” meaning those who are not vaccinated or recovered from the virus must quarantine for 10 days after entering the country. Dozens of countries, including nearly all of Germany’s direct neighbors, have now been added to this category.

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