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Germany Bans Travel From Russia, Citing Coronavirus Variant Spread


Germany has banned most travel from Russia due to the spread of mutated coronavirus strains there, the German Embassy in Moscow announced Tuesday. 

German citizens traveling from Russia, third-country nationals with German residency, passengers in transit and people with close relatives in Germany, are exempt from the ban, as well as those traveling for urgent humanitarian reasons and certain other categories.

The announcement came as Russia reported its highest number of coronavirus deaths since the beginning of the pandemic amid a third wave fueled by the highly contagious Delta variant and slow vaccination uptake.

Germany last week added Russia to its list of countries where coronavirus mutations are spreading. Visitors from countries on this list are required to present a negative PCR test and quarantine for two weeks on arrival.  

Russia had resumed regular passenger flights with Germany on April 1. 

But Germany has remained largely inaccessible to Russians since the start of the pandemic in 2020, with Russians still unable to obtain a tourist visa. On June 1, Germany resumed processing of Schengen visa applications from Russians who previously held German-issued visas, but this didn’t allow for immediate entry. 

Last week, France added Russia to its “red list” of countries where most travel is banned and Israel banned its citizens and residents from traveling there in late May.

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