Covid: Germany announces quarantine for UK travellers in bid to block Omicron

UK travellers wanting to enter Germany will soon be subject to quarantine rules after the country tightened restrictions in a bid to curb the spread of the Omicron Covid variant.

From midnight on Monday - or 11pm UK time on Sunday - everyone travelling to Germany from Britain, whether vaccinated or not, will need a negative PCR test and is required to quarantine for 14 days.

Regional health ministers in Germany are keen to stop more cases of Omicron arriving, with Britain currently experiencing a huge surge of infections caused by the variant.

Following a meeting on Saturday, they said: "The spread of Omicron in the UK is very evident... we have to prevent the spread for as long as possible and slow it down as much as possible."

The country's public health authority, the Robert-Koch-Institut, announced the new rules on Saturday evening as it classified the UK as an area of variants of concern due to Omicron.

It said the restrictions could last until at least January 3.

The UK is experiencing a fresh wave of Covid, caused by the fast-spreading Omicron variant, with daily coronavirus cases over 90,000 for the second day running on Saturday after the highest ever daily total of 93,045 was recorded on Friday.

Another six Omicron deaths have also been reported, meaning seven people in the UK have now died with the variant, while the addition of 10,059 further infections brings the total number of confirmed Omicron cases to 24,968.

But government scientists say the actual figure is "almost certainly" in the hundreds of thousands.

And major incident was declared in London after the capital recorded its highest ever daily increase of Covid cases on Saturday.

Infections rose steeply in Germany through October and November, but have been slowly falling since December, with 50,968 reported on Friday.