Germany's Robert Koch Institute designates 3 Spanish regions as COVID-19 high risk

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Berlin [Germany], July 31 (Sputnik/ANI): The Robert Koch Institute, Germany's agency for the pandemic monitoring and control, included on Friday the Spanish regions of Catalonia, Aragon and Navarre on its list of international high-risk travel destinations with the unfavourable epidemiological environment. The list was first published in mid-June and has been regularly updated since. Earlier this week, Robert Koch Institute Director Lothar Wieler already warned against travelling to these Spanish regions, traditionally very popular with European tourists, due to an epidemiological upsurge in them. "Changes since the last amendment: Spain - the Autonomous Communities of Aragon, Catalonia and Navarre are currently considered as risk areas," the update read. Spain is currently the only country on the list to be designated as a high risk, not in its entirety but rather separate regions. The list is representative of the German government's recommended pool of destinations for nationals' travel. It also means that travellers returning to Germany from the designated countries will have to self-isolated for 14 days and get tested for COVID-19, whereas the tests in such cases are going to become free of charge beginning next week. The decision to include regions on the list is taken jointly by the German Health Ministry, the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community. There are two criteria that get countries are included on the list. The first is if they have more than 50 new coronavirus cases per 100,000 population within the last seven days, and the second is a qualitative assessment of the epidemiological situation on the ground, the information for which is being provided by foreign-stationed German diplomats. They normally consider such aspects as the size of the outbreak, the number of tests per capita and the countermeasures taken by a given government as well as the availability of reliable reporting in some cases. (Sputnik/ANI)