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AFP
January 27, 2021

‘Germany mulls cutting int’l air traffic’

World

AFP
January 27, 2021

BERLIN: Germany is considering almost completely halting flights into the country to slow the spread of more infectious strains of the coronavirus, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said on Tuesday. "The danger from the numerous virus mutations forces us to consider drastic measures," Seehofer told the Bild newspaper.

"That includes significantly stricter border checks, especially at the borders of high-risk areas, but also reducing air travel to Germany to almost zero, as Israel is currently doing," he added. The emergence of new virus variants in Britain and South Africa, deemed more infectious than the original strain, has fuelled concern at a time when many nations are struggling to rein in the pandemic.

A slower than expected rollout of vaccines had added to the worries. Although Germany coped relatively well with the first coronavirus wave last spring, it has been hit hard by a second wave in recent months. The country renewed restrictions in November, shutting down bars, restaurants, culture and leisure facilities.