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Visit from Great Britain: Family arrives too early in Bonn and has to spend two weeks in quarantine

Visit from Great Britain : Family arrives too early in Bonn and has to spend two weeks in quarantine

Because they traveled twelve hours too early from Great Britain to Bonn, a family is forced to follow the more stringent rules on Covid. Instead of the possibility of a shortened quarantine, a seven-year-old must now spend 14 days in quarantine.

Twelve hours is the difference between anticipation and disillusionment for Malenka Bissell and her daughter. Because she entered Germany from the United Kingdom via the Netherlands last Tuesday afternoon instead of Wednesday morning, her family now has to put up with a 14-day quarantine for the seven-year-old child. This means that the long-awaited visit to her grandmother in Berlin has been postponed for the time being. Originally, they had hoped to get permission from Bonn health authorities for a shortened five-day quarantine for the girl from the Bonn, following a negative test. It doesn't look like that's going to happen at the moment, however. The city health department is responsible for making the call, because Bissell's first place of residence on German soil was Bonn. This is where her brother lives, and where the family will now be staying longer than expected.

Two years have passed since the child last saw her grandmother, says Bissell, who works as a doctor in the UK and is herself fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. From her point of view, it’s a question of what makes sense: "From a public health point of view, I can't understand why we pose a greater risk because we left a country too early, which shortly afterwards was downgraded from a virus variant area to a high incidence area." The problem, or rather the dilemma, and this is also acknowledged by the physician, is the time of entry: "Yes, we were too early," says Bissell, referring to the fact that they arrived in Bonn before the relaxed regulations. After they entered from Great Britain, the regulations were eased about twelve hours later - Wednesday at midnight. At that time, the new regulation allows for a shortened quarantine with a negative test.

No response to e-mails from the Bonn health department

Bissell criticizes the communication policy of the Bonn health department, but at the same time emphasizes that she does not blame anyone personally. She criticizes the fact that the call from the health department with the mandatory quarantine requirements was not received until Wednesday. The doctor and mother points to the fact that, according to the ordinance, one can check for an exception. She had not received a response to several e-mail inquiries about this from the Bonn health department. However, the current federal coronavirus regulation does not provide for exceptions when entering from a variant area - and the UK was still considered such at the time of entry.

In response to a GA inquiry, the city of Bonn acknowledged that there could be delays in the quarantine calls from health authorities. It’s unavoidable due to limited resources. However, the timing of the call would not have changed the quarantine requirement per se. It referred to the federal regulation, according to which those entering from Covid variant areas have to quarantine. "We can only repeat our appeal that people find out in good time about the regulations in force before entering. As in this case, this is especially true if changes are about to happen," said spokesman Marc Hoffmann. In the end, Malenka Bissell is probably and understandably left with some other thoughts: Perhaps we should have turned around in Rotterdam and then traveled again the next day..."

Orig. text: Alexander Barth

Translation: ck