Status: 17.03.2021 4 p.m.
To protect against highly contagious virus mutants, the federal government introduced controls at the borders with the Czech Republic and Tyrol in mid-February. These are now to be extended by two weeks – despite heavy criticism from Austria.
Germany is extending its inpatient controls at the borders with the Czech Republic and the Austrian state of Tyrol by two weeks. This was announced by a spokesman for the Federal Ministry of the Interior.
Interior Minister Horst Seehofer told the “Münchner Merkur”: “We hope that we can end the controls on Austria a little earlier, maybe even in the course of March.” To this end, the measures to protect against infection and contain the mutated virus in Tyrol will be closely monitored.
Sharp criticism immediately came from Tyrol. The measure could not be justified by anything, said country chief Günther Platter. The proportion of the South Africa variant in all corona infections in Tyrol is only 3.5 percent, according to the ÖVP politician. Germany’s Minister of Health Jens Spahn himself admitted that the proportion of South Africa mutations in Saarland is already over 15 percent, four times as high as in Tyrol.
“Nevertheless, Tyrol is deliberately pilloried, while in Germany there are still no strict control measures for the directly adjacent French region of Moselle,” said Platter. He is counting on the EU Commission and the Austrian Federal Government to bring about an end to this “unjustified harassment” against Tyrol.
Exceptions for truck drivers and certain commuters
Germany declared the Czech Republic, Slovakia and large parts of Tyrol to be so-called Viru variant areas in mid-February. From there and from other areas, in which more contagious and, according to initial studies, more frequent variants of the coronavirus that cause severe courses are widespread, only Germans and foreigners with a residence and residence permit in Germany are currently allowed to enter.
Exceptions apply to truck drivers and cross-border commuters with systemically relevant professions. You must present a negative corona test, which must not be older than 48 hours.
Cabinet speaks about Easter travel
With regard to the approaching Easter holidays, Seehofer said that the federal cabinet had now discussed “how we now deal with the many, many vacationers”. The expected travel traffic over Easter is a great challenge. The federal government called on Tuesday to avoid unnecessary travel.
AfD parliamentary group leader Alexander Gauland criticized the federal government’s actions: “Forbid holidays in your own country, but allow them to go to Mallorca and then tell the citizens that they shouldn’t go there anyway – that’s not rationally understandable,” he said.