Starting Saturday, all travelers coming to Germany will be able to get free coronavirus polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests up to 72 hours after entering the country, the German health ministry announced in a statement.“The rise in cases is a clear warning. The virus does not take days off. Therefore: whoever returns from a trip should get a test — voluntarily and free of charge,” said German health minister Jens Spahn in the statement.
Germany is currently dealing with a new rise in coronavirus infections and believes travelers returning from abroad and carrying the virus are partially responsible.
The German health ministry said it will also enact a directive making tests mandatory for people returning from so-called “high-risk areas.” The new rule will go into effect next week, the health ministry wrote, without specifying the exact date.
Germany has reported 210,399 coronavirus cases, including 9,147 deaths, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.