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Travel ban: This is how NRW airports deal with people arriving from Great Britain

Travel ban : This is how NRW airports deal with people arriving from Great Britain

In NRW, travellers have been quick to leave the airports despite the UK travel ban. But the measures taken, such as the type of tests, differ from airport to airport within the state.

Flight number FR 1788 lands in Dortmund at 8.50pm on Sunday evening. 187 passengers had booked, only 105 are actually on board. "It took about two hours to get them all tested," says a Dortmund airport spokesperson. While passengers in other federal states had to spend the night at the airport, they were able to continue their journey quickly in NRW, the airports in Düsseldorf and Cologne/Bonn also said. However, the test strategy of the individual cities differs greatly.

Due to the new variant of the coronavirus discovered in Great Britain, Germany and numerous European countries are increasingly sealing themselves off from the United Kingdom. For Germany, the following applies since Monday until 31 December: no planes from the United Kingdom are allowed to land. This was ordered by the Federal Ministry of Transport on Sunday.

The short-term flight ban had partly unpleasant consequences for passengers in Germany. In Berlin, Frankfurt and Hanover, among other places, hundreds of travellers spent the night to Monday at the airport. In some cases, many people were still waiting for a test result in the morning.

In Düsseldorf, passengers with a permanent residence in Germany were able to go home, an airport spokesman said. "Passengers who do not have a permanent residence in Germany had to undergo a rapid antigen test on site." The results of all the tests carried out were negative, he said. Two flights are affected in Düsseldorf: EW 9463 from London and EW 9331 from Birmingham. The spokesperson said that passengers had already been informed of the quarantine obligation before departure.

Few flights cancelled

In Cologne, passengers from the UK were "strongly advised" to get tested, according to a city press release. "The order to quarantine will be issued verbally for the time being." A spokesman for Cologne airport confirmed that no passengers had to stay overnight there. Two flights from the UK had landed there during Sunday and their passengers had been kept separate from other passengers, he said. "You have to bear in mind that we are in the middle of the pandemic right now. Many flights are not taking place anyway because of this," the spokesman said. A few flights had been cancelled for the coming days, he added.

Flights from Great Britain usually land in Dortmund twice a week. "But there are no more reliable flight schedules at the moment anyway," said a spokesman for the airport there. The 105 passengers affected from flight FR 1788 had been PCR tested, he said. "It will take twelve hours until the results are in," the spokesman said. It was not yet possible to say whether any of the passengers had tested positive. As of Monday evening, the results of the tests in Dortmund were not available, a city spokeswoman confirmed.

Original text: Viktor Marinov

Translation: Mareike Graepel