A ruling by the Münster Higher Administrative Court could possibly have nationwide effects: The court overturned the quarantine obligation for returnees from risk areas defined by the Robert Koch Institute and found that people who come from regions with lower numbers of infections than at home have a higher risk of infection exposed than during the trip.
The ruling turns previous practice in the Federal Republic on its head, because a rigid limit of 50 new infections per 100.000 inhabitants was applied. However, in many regions of Germany the "quotas" are considerably higher, so that it can happen that one returns to Germany from a supposed "risk area" and there are significantly higher numbers of infections at home. Nevertheless, one would have to be in quarantine, because German politics suggests, regardless of the RKI figures, that the danger emanates from abroad. The Robert Koch Institute found, however, that only a negligibly small proportion of the infections can be traced back to those returning from traveling, more on this in this article.
A German who had spent a vacation in Ibiza and Tenerife sued against the quarantine regulations of the Federal Republic of Germany. He argued that the number of new infections in the Balearic Islands would be significantly lower than in his hometown of Bielefeld. Nevertheless, he should be in quarantine because he was in Ibiza. The court upheld the lawsuit and overturned the quarantine regulation of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Ironically, this only came into force on November 8, 2020.
“The risk of infection emanating from returnees is in any case no different with comparable incidence values than if they had stayed at home”, can be read in the judgment of the Higher Administrative Court in Münster. The public sector cannot raise an appeal because the court did not allow it.
According to lawyers, the judgment could affect the whole of Germany and bring down the forced quarantine that was only established on November 8, 2020. The Federal Republic decreed that people who have stayed in "risk areas" must be in quarantine for ten days. If a negative PCR test is presented, which must not be older than 48 hours, the secretion is shortened to five days. The Higher Regional Court of Münster has now overturned this rule, but it must be noted that the judgment refers to regions that have lower infection rates than at home.