Lufthansa to introduce rapid pre-boarding Covid-19 tests

German airline Lufthansa may soon introduce rapid tests before certain flights to detect Covid-19 in passengers. 

The tests are being developed by the Basel-based pharmaceutical company Roche, according to reports in the NZZ am Sonntag and SonntagsZeitung.

It is unclear on which flights the tests, which could cost around €10 per passenger, will be trialled, the papers said. Lufthansa said it was looking into various price models, such as including a certain amount in the ticket price.

The requirement to have a negative Covid-19 test when boarding a plane could allow exemptions from entry bans and compulsory quarantine when travellers arrive in their destinations, the papers wrote.

For example, if you enter from a risk area, a 14-day quarantine is mandatory in Germany.

Travel warnings automatically apply to corona high-risk areas.

Meanwhile, the classification of a country or region as a corona high-risk area automatically results in a travel warning from Germany’s Federal Foreign Office from October onwards. This is provided for in the new regulations for travel warnings and travel advice, which the cabinet adopted last Wednesday.

Since 1 October, all countries have a uniform system of travel warnings and advisories based on the Covid-19 risks.

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Germany’s centre for disease control and prevention, defines the international high-risk areas after having qualitatively assessed the infection figures and published them in coordination with the Federal Ministry of Health, the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry of the Interior.

The Federal Government and the States also appeal to citizens to refrain from travelling to high-risk areas. A new quarantine regulation is to apply to returnees from these countries from mid-October. Details still have to be determined.

As of Sunday, 4 October,  299,237 corona infections have been registered since the beginning of the pandemic in Germany. There have been 9,529 deaths in connection with the virus.

Since mid-June the number of new cases of Covid-19 has been rising steadily. Authorities are focusing on a combination of measures and restrictions to keep the situation under control.

Felix Dappah

DOWNDLOAD Regulations for persons entering Germany in connection with coronavirus SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 

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