German lawmakers urge mandatory airport tests

A sign in front of the diagnostics provider Centogene in Germany's first walk-in test center for corona viruses (COVID-19) at an airport at Frankfurt International Airport, Germany. EPA-EFE/RONALD WITTEK

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More and more German lawmakers want compulsory testing for returning holidaymakers at German airports.

The calls follow Health Minister Jens Spahn’s announcement that such testing needs to be legally reviewed before being adopted.

Spahn told Deutschlandfunk that requiring someone to take a test was “an intervention on freedom,” while attributing the significant rise in new infections primarily to “travel activities.”

Christian Social Union (CSU) Party state leader Alexander Dobrindt told the Bild daily that tests should be compulsory for travellers returning from high-risk areas. If such a policy was not currently legally possible, then “a corresponding law should be created,” he said.

The leader of the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP) Christian Lindner told public broadcaster ZDF he was in favor of compulsory testing, particularly for those returning from high-risk areas. Linder said, “whoever freely chooses, as a tourist, to put themselves at risk should have to accept that they should pay for their own test.”

Walk-through testing stations are already in operation at Germany’s Frankfurt and Munich airports, but there is no obligation for passengers to participate. Another voluntary test station is set to begin operation today at Leipzig/Halle airport in eastern Germany.

Read more via DW

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