German travel ban: Luhmühlen hopes ebbing for British-based riders

  • It is unlikely British and British-based riders will be able to compete at Europe’s first CCI5* of the year after news broke today (Friday, 28 May) that there will be no exceptions to restrictions.

    Doubts were cast last week (23 May) over whether British-based riders would be allowed into Germany for the 2021 Longines Luhmühlen Horse Trials (17-20 June) owing to new German entry restrictions on travellers from the UK.

    The restrictions for UK-based travellers are in effect a travel ban, with very limited exceptions. One potential route for competitors still determined to get to Germany would be investigating travelling earlier and undergoing a minimum 10-day “quarantine” stay in a nation that does not currently have a ban on UK travellers and is not on Germany’s “areas of virus variants of concern” list.

    A spokesman for the horse trials told H&H that the event received the “official information today [28 May] that there will be no exemption from the required quarantine for travellers from the UK”.

    “This is not only binding for equestrian sports but for example also for soccer, golf etc. at the moment. Nobody can say if things will change again closer to the event,” she said, adding that national federations have just been informed.

    “Therefore everyone needs to decide if they would like to hope and wait, find a way to travel earlier in order to go into quarantine or cancel their trips.”

    Information on the UK Government website states: “From 23 May the UK is designated as a virus variant area of concern, which means that you may only enter Germany from the UK if you are a German citizen, a resident or their spouse/partner/child under 18, or if you can invoke an urgent humanitarian reason such as an immediate family bereavement.

    “No other travellers may enter Germany from the UK. Further information about restrictions on entry from areas of virus variants of concern is on the Federal Interior Ministry website. Travel from the UK is subject to pre-departure digital registration and 14-day quarantine with no exemptions and no possibility for early test and release.”

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    There are 38 British combinations still entered in the five-star, as well as a number in the CCI4*-S, which is held at the same time. Many of these are double, or triple entered in the four-star sections at Bicton (9-13 June) and/or Millstreet (3-6 June), but it is still a blow to top-level sport.

    A number of international riders based in Britain are also among the entries, including reigning title holders New Zealand’s Tim Price and Ascona M (plus his 2018 Burghley winner Ringwood Sky Boy) and 2018 winners Jonelle Price and Faerie Dianimo.

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