Daily Host Nation Stories – August 13, 2020
Corona test station opens at Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof (Main Station)
Passengers can now get tested for the Corona virus at the Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof. The test station opened on August 13 and helps those traveling from corona-risk areas abide by the requirement for getting tested upon their return to Germany. There are already test stations for this purpose at the airports in Stuttgart, Friedrichshafen and Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden. However, returnees can also take the test within 72 hours of arrival at a general practitioner or at any corona ambulance station. Failure to get testing can result in a fine of up to 25,000 euros. However, at the moment, there is no control of compliance with the test obligation. Several thousand travel returnees have already been tested in the first few days. Travelers not returning from any risk areas, can also be tested free of charge. According to the latest situation report of the State Health Office, since the travel warning for EU countries was lifted in mid-June, more than 517 corona cases have been reported, the infection of which is suspected to have taken place abroad. This is about 19 percent of all corona cases. Most of the cases are from countries in the southeastern part of Europe. (Source: TAG.24)
Every third infection registered in Germany is coming from abroad. These are figures from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). According to these figures, almost 1,800 returnees have tested positive in the past four weeks. According to the RKI, a particularly large number of infected persons have arrived from Kosovo (1096), Turkey (501) and Croatia (260). (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, August 13)
Rising infection rates due to returning holidaymakers
The rising figures are critical because holidaymakers – as in the case of party tourists returning home from Croatia – infect more people in this country and can thus drive up the number of cases. This is exactly how the corona virus came to Germany in mid-March, when thousands of skiers were infected in Ischgl or South Tyrol. At that time, the proportion of infections brought in from abroad was 46 percent. Two weeks later, Germany was in lockdown. The RKI is investigating where those returning to Germany became infected. With almost 1,100 infected, there were particularly many travelers from Kosovo in the past four weeks. Turkey and Croatia, where many are currently spending their holidays, are increasingly coming into focus. The situation is not equally explosive in all European countries. Tourists are best advised to find out about the local regulations before setting off on their journey.
Mass tourism, but the virus crisis still under control: For weeks Croatia has been surprisingly low infection rates. However, even domestic media are wondering whether the corona statistics could be fudged. Few tests and few sick people: Serbia’s omnipotent head of state Aleksander Vucic, for example, sees one reason for the officially very low infection figures in the Adriatic state in the relatively low number of tests. Nevertheless, Croatia has the epidemic far better under control than its neighbors. Since July 10, Croatia has therefore been allowing Germans and citizens of other EU states to enter the country. At the border, travelers only have to explain where they will be staying and how to reach them. An appropriate form can be downloaded from the Internet before the start of the journey. On the beaches, distance rules apply, thus preventing overcrowding. In shops and public transport, masks are again mandatory since July 13 July.
For a long time Greece had one of the lowest corona infection rates in Europe. Now suddenly the numbers are rising sharply. 481 new infections with Covid-19 were reported by the Greek authorities in the last three days – almost as many as in the whole month of June. In response to the rise, the government is imposing new travel restrictions. From August 17, passengers from Sweden, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Spain and the Netherlands will have to present a negative Covid-19 test not older than 72 hours when entering Greece’s airports; Germans have not been required to do so until now. This regulation applies to travelers from all countries when entering Greece via land borders. From Tuesday, restaurants, cafés and bars in many tourist areas have to close at 11 pm. These include the islands of Mykonos, Paros, Santorini, Rhodes, Kos, Zakynthos and Corfu as well as the northern Greek peninsula of Chalkidiki.
EU residents can enter Spain without any restrictions. All air passengers who want to enter Spain, regardless of their country of origin, must always fill out a form in the Spain-Travel-Health-Portal for health checks, which must be presented upon entry. On arrival in Spain, there is a health check, where the temperature is measured and the health authorities carry out a visual inspection of the traveler. People with a temperature of over 37.5 degrees or other abnormalities must expect a more detailed examination, as reported by the ADAC. The Foreign Office is currently advising against tourist travel to the particularly affected regions of Catalonia, Navarre, Aragon, the Basque Country or Madrid. On the Balearic Islands, too, there is growing concern about a German travel warning, as the German Press Agency reports. Holidaymakers returning to Germany from risk areas must undergo mandatory testing for Covid-19 – and if the test is positive, they must be quarantined for 14 days.
The most critical situation for tourists is in Turkey. The Foreign Office has lifted the travel warning for parts of the country – this concerns the coastal provinces of Antalya, Izmir, Aydin and Mugla. The status as a risk area remains However, there is no general travel ban. Holidaymakers who travel to one of the four provinces must have a corona test within 48 hours before returning to Germany – at their own expense. If the test is positive, they must go into quarantine or receive medical treatment in Turkey. A return journey to Germany is then no longer possible for the time being.(Stuttgarter Nachrichten, August 13)
Non-Corona related news:
Estimated 30,000 people reside illegally in Germany
In a federal comparison, most illegals were deported from Baden-Württemberg last year. 3,540 such decrees were issued in the Southwest region. North Rhine-Westphalia followed with 1,762 and Bavaria with 1,376 deportations. Altogether, there were considerably more deportations in Germany this year than in previous years: 11,081 foreigners received a letter of deportation. This is 50 per cent more than in 2018, when authorities deported 7,408 people. The persons concerned must leave Germany and may not re-enter the country. If they do not comply with the request, deportation may follow. According to the Federal Ministry of the Interior, a number of 311,811 people are recorded in the Central Register of Foreigners with a deportation order. However, almost 30,000 of them are still in Germany. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, August 13)
Are dogs in danger in Germany?
A series of suspected poisonings have frightened dog owners in Nuremberg. The police are calling on dog owners to be cautious as incidents of poison or dangerous objects like needles have been found in baited treats left on the ground. Dog owner have to be aware that danger could lurk on every green strip or behind every bush. The exact number of how many dogs have been harmed is unknown, as these cases are not recorded in the crime statistics, but police will answer they are common. Last year, the Bavarian State Office of Criminal Investigation recorded 219 cases of prepared dog baits. In the first half of 2020 there were 149. If suspicious bait turns up somewhere, it’s usually the talk of the town among dog lovers. Since 2011, the “Giftköderradar” website has registered more than 10,000 reports from Germany, Austria and Switzerland of baits found with poison, razor blades, drawing pins or nails meant to hurt or even kill dogs. Investigators do not usually succeed in catching a perpetrator, says Nils Matthiesen of the Bremen police. The motives can only be speculated: Disagreements with the dog owners, lack of empathy towards animals, tests of courage, reduction of aggression or a pathological disposition to cruelty to animals could be the case. The animal protection association considers another motive to be possible: “Often interpersonal conflicts, for example between neighbors, are also carried out over the domestic animal. When perhaps a direct, clarifying discussion could help. However, in most cases, the only thing that helps is to keep your eyes open when you go for a walk and to teach your dog not to eat anything that is lying around somewhere. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, August 13)