The stricter German entry rules at the borders with the Czech Republic and the Austrian state of Tyrol came into force on Sunday night – and are causing displeasure in the neighboring states and the EU. Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer confirmed that strict controls would be carried out at the corresponding crossings in Bavaria and Saxony. “Those who do not belong to one of the few exceptions cannot enter,” said the CSU politician of “Bild am Sonntag”. The aim of the federal government is to curb the introduction of probably more contagious coronavirus mutations across the border.
Negative corona test for travelers
The federal police will not just wave the traffic through. ” Entrants would have to present a negative corona test. That also applies to all truck drivers, it said.
Because of the new German entry rules, Tyrol wants to control and throttle truck traffic from Italy in advance from Sunday in order to prevent extreme backlogs and a traffic collapse in the Inn Valley. «We will not allow Tyrol to become Europe’s parking lot. For this reason, in coordination with the federal government, an ordinance is being issued that enables us to carry out checks at the burner, ”declared Governor Günther Platter and Regional Transport Minister Ingrid Felipe.
According to the federal government, from Sunday only Germans and foreigners with a residence and residence permit in Germany will be allowed to enter from the Czech Republic and large parts of Tyrol. The Czech Republic and Tyrol are considered virus variant areas. The re are exceptions to entry for health workers, truck drivers and other transport personnel in freight traffic.
Interventions against travel restrictions for truck drivers
The Slovak Foreign Minister Ivan Korcok intervened with Germany’s Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas against travel restrictions for truck drivers. As the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bratislava announced on its website on Saturday, it was about the requirement to present a corona test that is no more than 48 hours old at the border in order to be allowed to enter Germany. “This measure will cause huge problems and our truck drivers can hardly be fulfilled in practice,” Korcok told his German counterpart, according to his ministry. Slovakia has therefore sent a diplomatic note to Berlin.
Saxony’s Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU) defended the border controls when entering from the Czech Republic. “We have no other choice,” he said on Saturday. The fight against the pandemic does not stop at a border. So far, the Saxon line has been to treat regions on the other side of the border as if they were a district in Saxony or Germany. In the Czech region of Eger, the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days is 1,100, he said. With such an incidence, strict restrictions such as curfews and the closure of shops would have been imposed in Saxony, according to Kretschmer. “If things are different on the Czech side, then we have to protect ourselves differently. So far, over the past few weeks, we’ve had a common understanding. That seems to be different now in the Czech Republic. ”
Due to the tightening, the Czech fire brigade set up an additional corona test center at short notice. It should be available from midnight in Pomezi nad Ohri in front of the Schirnding border crossing (Bavaria), according to a spokesman on Twitter. The target group are truck drivers in particular.
Virus does not stop at closed borders
However, EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides does not think much of the stricter German entry rules. “ The fear of the mutations in the coronavirus is understandable. But the truth is that the virus cannot be stopped by closed borders, ”said the 64-year-old Christian Democratic politician from Cyprus of the“ Augsburger Allgemeine ”(Monday). Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer had been outraged the day before about critical remarks from the EU Commission.
The regulation for commuters is also controversial. According to the new text of the entry quarantine regulation, Bavaria wants exceptions for cross-border commuters and cross-border commuters if their work is urgently required and indispensable for maintaining operational processes and this is certified by the employer, employer or client. According to reports, there are still demands on the part of the federal government to narrow down the exceptions. Exceptions for medical staff are indisputable, it said.
A spokesman for the Bavarian Ministry of Health said in response to a request from the dpa that there will be a different federal legal entry regulation that will only allow this Bavarian regulation to come into effect to a limited extent. A negative test that is not older than 48 hours is mandatory for all travelers without exception. The y also have to register digitally.