After the mutated coronavirus had spread in the Czech Republic and parts of Austria, the federal government decided on new entry restrictions and border controls. According to the Federal Ministry of the Interior, the Czech Republic and Tyrol were classified as so-called virus mutation areas on Thursday.
Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) decided to introduce temporary border controls at the borders with the Czech Republic, in addition to the internal border controls with Austria that have existed since the refugee crisis, from Sunday, a spokesman said.
The federal government is currently coordinating with all partners involved, “especially on possible exceptions” and will provide information about this soon.
The Free State of Bavaria and the Free State of Saxony today asked the federal government to classify Tyrol and areas of the Czech Republic near the border as virus mutation areas and to carry out stationary border controls.”
Travel to the Czech Republic is hardly possible
The re is no neighboring country among the countries that have been classified as virus mutation areas for which a transport ban to Germany applies. Almost only Germans and foreigners residing in Germany are currently allowed to enter from the already defined mutation areas abroad.
The re are also special rules for medical staff, transit passengers and the movement of goods.
The Czech Republic was already classified as a high risk area. It should now – like Great Britain – be declared a virus variant area, said Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU). Travelers from the Czech Republic have to present a negative corona test when entering the country. Designation as a virus variant area would restrict travel options even further.
Söder: “Significantly improve security”
Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) had previously called for regions near the border to be classified as mutation areas. In his federal state, there are fears that mutated coronaviruses will be introduced via commuters from the Czech Republic, which is severely affected by corona infections. All Bavarian hotspots are along the border with the Czech Republic, said Söder.
Markus Söder: Entry to Bavaria may soon only be possible with a negative corona test. (Source: Matthias Balk / dpa)
The proportion of the mutated variant in positive cases of commuters from the Czech Republic is already 40 to 70 percent. In view of the drastic Corona numbers in the Czech Republic, Saxony had already announced a significant restriction in commuter traffic before the decision of the federal government.
The Bundestag member Alexander Krauss (CDU) from Schwarzenberg in the Ore Mountains said: “In the Karlsbad area we currently have an infection rate, which is 25 times as high as here in the Ore Mountains.” Only those who have a valid reason should be allowed to enter. In order to enforce this, constant border controls are necessary.
For its part, the Czech Republic announced that it would seal off three border districts from the outside world from Friday. Affected are the districts of Cheb (Eger) and Sokolov (Falkenau) on the border with Bavaria and Trutnov (Trautenau). Those who live there are no longer allowed to leave the respective district, said Health Minister Jan Blatny in Prague. Outside people would not be allowed in. Exceptions apply, among other things, to the way to work.
The EU member state has around 10.7 million inhabitants.