Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement in Berlin today (31 January):
We now have all the permits from the Chinese authorities that we need to evacuate our citizens. As I speak, a Bundeswehr plane is setting off for China, to fly the German nationals out.
I am relieved that we have got to this stage, that an end will now be put to the difficult situation in which our citizens find themselves in Wuhan, that the people who want to leave can now be flown out by us.
We’re talking about over 100 people. None of them has been infected. None of them is even suspected of having the virus. To guarantee the health and safety of the population in Germany, the people who have been evacuated from China will be quarantined for two weeks on Bundeswehr premises in order to be absolutely sure that none of the evacuees is carrying the virus.
I would like to thank the Chinese Government for working together with us on this. My thanks also go to the Crisis Response Centre, the authorities involved and our consular teams in China. We hope that everyone who comes back will be in good health and will stay that way - regardless of the fact that they will be monitored by medics here.