BERLIN — The German government will launch a program of mandatory coronavirus tests for arrivals from designated high-risk areas starting Saturday, Health Minister Jens Spahn said Thursday.
Those landing at airports — including big international hubs such as Frankfurt and Munich — will need to take a test to be allowed to enter Germany unless they have a valid negative result from the preceding 48 hours. The tests will be provided free of charge, Spahn said.
Those arriving by road or rail should seek out a testing facility if there isn’t one installed at a border post, the ministry said.
Germany’s disease control center, the Robert Koch Institute, currently designates 129 countries such as Turkey, Russia and the U.S. as high-risk. In the EU, Luxembourg, the Antwerp region of Belgium and three Spanish regions, Navarra, Catalonia and Aragon are also on the list.
The plans to roll out testing requirements for arrivals were first announced in July as part of efforts to counter transmission of the deadly disease as Germany sees an uptick in cases.