From Saturday, anyone traveling to Germany from abroad can take a free corona test within 72 hours at the health office or a doctor. Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn (CDU) signed a corresponding regulation, as his ministry announced on Friday. It comes into force on Saturday.
With a further order, Spahn will require travelers from high-risk areas to have themselves tested by the responsible authorities. This order is in coordination with the federal states and is expected to enter into force next week. The Robert Koch Institute also classified the Spanish regions of Catalonia, Aragón and Navarra as risk areas on Friday. The obligation to test also applies to returnees from these regions.
“The rising number of infections in Germany is a clear warning signal,” said Spahn. “The virus doesn’t go on vacation.” Each of us is even more important than government orders. “The better we pay attention to each other in everyday life, the better we can get through this pandemic together.”
According to Spahn’s regulation, the costs for the tests are to be met from the health fund’s liquidity reserve, but the federal government is to compensate for the funds later. For every million additional tests, statutory health insurance (GKV) incurs additional expenses of around 50.5 million euros for laboratory diagnostic services.