In the corona virus crisis, there is no longer talk of free travel – many EU countries close borders, including Germany. At the same time, the government warns of trips abroad.
“The risk that you will no longer be able to start your return journey due to the increasing restrictions is currently high in many destinations,” emphasized Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.
The website of the Federal Foreign Office further states that increasing drastic restrictions on air and tourist traffic, quarantine measures and restrictions on public life are to be expected in many countries. Changes to the entry and quarantine regulations would sometimes take place without prior notice and with immediate effect. This currently affects numerous travelers in several countries and is therefore prevented from traveling on or back.
Until now, the Federal Foreign Office had advised against traveling to particularly affected countries such as Italy or Iran because of the rapid spread of the corona virus. So far, there is only a travel warning for the Hubei region of China, from where the virus had spread. Travel warnings are only given when there is an acute danger to life and limb and are therefore rare. You can allow travel to be canceled free of charge.
Checks and entry stops
In the coronavirus crisis, Germany is introducing extensive checks and entry bans on the borders to Switzerland, Austria, France, Luxembourg and Denmark this Monday. “For travelers without a valid reason for travel, they can no longer enter,” said Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer. The situation was serious and the spread of the virus had to be slowed down.
Previously, other EU countries had largely closed borders, including Denmark, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Austria. France also announced tighter controls in response to German measures. EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen warned of problems with the supply of certain products in the supermarket. There are already thousands of truck and bus drivers stranded on the borders.
“Keep it going”
“If we don’t act now, stores will have difficulty filling their stores with certain products,” said von der Leyen in a video posted on Twitter. “At this moment of crisis, it is of the utmost importance to keep our common internal market going.”
The EU internal market is economically closely intertwined with cross-border supply chains. That is why both in production and in shops, supplies of certain goods can become scarce when trucks are stuck at the border.
Federal Agriculture Minister Julia KlOckner emphasizes, however, that Germany is not dependent on deliveries from abroad for basic foodstuffs. “In Germany, we are particularly well positioned with basic foodstuffs such as potatoes, cereals, milk products, pork or cheese,” said KlOckner of the “Bild” newspaper. “Our level of self-sufficiency here is over 100 percent.”
In the United States, President Donald Trump called on Americans to refrain from panic buying because of the spread of the corona virus. “You don’t have to buy that much. Just don’t rush, just relax,” the President said.
Meanwhile, there is a dispute between Germany and the United States in the coronavirus crisis over a Tubingen pharmaceutical company that is working on a vaccine. When asked whether there was an attempt by the US government to take over the German company CureVac for a very large sum of money, Federal Interior Minister Seehofer said on Sunday: “I can only say that I have heard several times today from government members that this is true and that we will talk about it tomorrow in the crisis team. This comes together in the morning at 11 a.m.
haz / ack (dpa, rtr, afp)
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