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Germany will impose fresh restrictions on travelers from the U.K. starting on Sunday due to the rapid spread in Britain of the coronavirus strain first identified in India.

Travelers from the U.K. will have to spend two weeks in quarantine upon arrival in Germany even if they test negative for the virus, according to the foreign ministry. In addition, transport companies will only be allowed to bring German citizens back into the country.

Germany now classifies Britain as a “virus variant area," the country’s highest risk category, following a recommendation from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), according to the foreign ministry.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she is deeply concerned about the spread of the variant first detected India.

“This variant seems to be even more aggressive than the British mutation," Merkel said after the G-20 World Health Summit on Friday. “That means we will have to be careful."

Germany had recently eased strict lockdown measures after the incident rate dropped below 100 in most areas. Britain, too, was removed from Germany’s list of risky areas after a fast-paced vaccination campaign and tough lockdowns massively reduced case numbers.

The decision to classify Britain as the highest risk area again might effect the presence of Merkel’s delegation at the three-day G-7 summit in Cornwall, which is scheduled to begin on June 11. Journalists have been advised not to travel to the U.K. to cover the event because they would be forced to quarantine afterward.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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