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08 Apr 2020 | 07:52 AM UTC

Germany: Lufthansa suspends Germanwings operations April 7 /update 20

Lufthansa suspends Germanwings operations and significantly reduces fleet size due to COVID-19 April 7; confirm flight reservations



On Tuesday, April 7, Lufthansa officials announced in a statement that its subsidiary Germanwings will cease all operations amid a global drop in consumer demand due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It was not immediately announced when the flight suspension will take effect. Furthermore, most Lufthansa flights and subsidiary groups' flights, including Eurowings, will be permanently decommissioned over the coming days and weeks. Additional details should be provided soon. This comes after Lufthansa's executive board assessed that it will take months until the existing travel restrictions are completely lifted and years until worldwide demand returns to pre-crisis levels. For more information, please see this website

German authorities announced that all travelers will be placed under a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival as of Friday, April 10. Health sector employees living in border regions outside Germany, as well as business travelers or technicians entering the country for a short period of time, will be exempted from the restriction.

On Wednesday, April 1, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that social distancing measures currently in place will be extended until at least Sunday, April 19, pending further evaluation.

On Sunday, March 22, authorities announced a ban on gatherings of more than two people. German citizens are also advised to keep contact with people outside of their own household to a minimum and maintain a distance of at least 1.5 m (5 ft), preferably 2 m (6.5 ft), between themselves and others in public.

On Monday, March 16, the federal government and states agreed to close nonessential shops and public spaces until further notice. This includes restaurants, bars, clubs, theaters, museums, and churches. Grocery stores, pharmacies, petrol stations, banks, post offices, and delivery services are excluded from the ban. Schools and daycare centers have also been closed.

Controls along Germany's borders with France, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Denmark remain in place. The restrictions do not affect German citizens reentering the country and do not apply to commuters and goods traffic.

Non-German citizens, including EU and foreign nationals alike, are allowed to enter the country under certain conditions. According to the Interior Ministry, those conditions include:

  • Individuals returning to their home or legal residence in Germany.
  • "work purposes or to carry out professional contractual services," such as commuters or diplomats.
  • "urgent reasons requiring entry," such as medical treatment.
  • "transit through Germany to return to one's home country if no other travel connection is possible."

As of Wednesday, April 8, there are 103,228 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1861 related deaths nationwide. Further international spread of COVID-19 is to be expected over the near term.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.