Germany tightens up on testing as infection numbers rise

·1-min read
German Health Minister Jens Spahn holds a news conference on the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Germany, in Berlin
German Health Minister Jens Spahn holds a news conference on the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Germany, in Berlin

BERLIN (Reuters) - Travellers returning to Germany from risk regions will face mandatory coronavirus tests from Saturday, Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Thursday, warning that the accelerating pace of new infections was a cause for concern.

Speaking after daily cases rose above 1,000 for the first time since May, Spahn said that while authorities could manage the current rate of new infections, the trajectory was a worry.

He blamed both the impact of travellers returning from abroad and people's flagging adherence to social distancing guidelines for the increase, although he conceded that increased testing was also responsible for part of the increase.

"I understand if people are fed up, but they should resist the deceptive idea that the pandemic was never all that serious," he said.

(Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Michelle Martin)