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Germany: Cologne exceeds COVID-19 infection rate joining Berlin and Frankfurt

Mayor Henriette Reker

The western German city of Cologne has exceeded a critical COVID-19 infection rate, joining Berlin and Frankfurt. The city recently imposed new restrictions in anticipation of the threshold being breached.

The western German city of Cologne exceeded the key level of 50 new infections per 100,000 residents over seven days on Saturday, health authorities have announced.

The North Rhine-Westphalian State Center for Health reported that there were 54.8 cases per 100,000 residents.

Cologne recently instituted a night-time ban on the consumption of alcohol on streets and squares after 10 p.m., a weekend ban on selling alcohol at party hot spots and a limit of five people from different households meeting in public.

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“We are in a serious phase of the pandemic,” Mayor Henriette Reker wrote on Twitter on Friday, hours before Cologne exceeded the threshold, warning that more measures may soon be necessary.

The rate of 50 infections per 100,000 in seven days is how Germany determines which foreign cities, regions and countries are added to the government list of “risk zones.” Travelers arriving in Germany from a risk zone must quarantine until they can provide a negative test result.

As things stand, each German state can decide what the high rates mean for domestic travel. The northern state of Schleswig-Holstein brought in a requirement for travellers from Berlin to test negative or quarantine when the capital exceeded the threshold earlier in the week.

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