The German Minister of the Interior, Building and Home Affairs Horst Seehofer has added a new category of travellers to the list of non-EU/EEA travellers exempt from the EU-wide entry ban, imposed since March 2020, amid the Coronavirus outbreak.

On September 2, 2020, Minister Seehofer decided to permit entry into the German territory for Jewish immigrants, who were previously banned from entering, now classifying them under the category of “entry for humanitarian reasons.”

Based on the recommendation of the EU Council of June 30, 2020, Jewish immigrants, who mainly come from Ukraine and Russia, have not been able to enter the country,” a press release of the Ministry reads.

It also notes that the borders will be open for Jewish immigrants in spite of the epidemiological situation in these two countries which remains critical – as the number of cases for 1 million population in Russia is 7,097, and 3,216 in Ukraine, while the number of cases per 1 million citizens is currently 112 in Germany.

With this decision, the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Home Affairs takes into account the great importance of the admission procedure, which arose against the background of historical responsibility for the crimes of National Socialism,” the press release notes.

The Ministry has already informed its diplomatic missions abroad to resume visa application procedures for the purposes of Jewish immigration to Germany, as soon as possible.

Upon arrival in Germany, all Jewish immigrants will still be subject to mandatory quarantine rules according to the federal state in which they arrive first.

The decision has been welcomed by the Central Council of Jews in Germany, the President of which Josef Schuster, has asked the government back in August to undertake the necessary measures to no longer leave the Jewish immigrants “waiting at the doors” of Germany.

According to “World Jewish Population, 2016,” a report of the Hebrew demographer Sergio Della Pergola, there are between 56,000 and 140,000 Jews in Ukraine and 179,500 Jews in Russia. The latter is the world’s seventh-largest Jewish community.