The federal government has sharply criticized the stricter entry rules at the German borders with Tyrol and the Czech Republic in order to curb the spread of particularly contagious corona variants.
The entry ban for Tyroleans to Germany came into force on Sunday. With this, Germany wants to curb the spread of more contagious variants of the corona virus. From a German point of view, the South African mutation is particularly widespread in Tyrol.
Since Sunday, only Germans and foreigners with a residence and residence permit in Germany have been allowed to enter from the Czech Republic and Tyrol. So far there have only been exceptions for doctors, nurses and geriatric nurses as well as truck drivers and seasonal agricultural workers.
Sharp criticism from Nehammer
A spokesman for the Federal Police Directorate in Munich confirmed that there is currently no way for transit travelers, with a few exceptions. German citizens, for example, are allowed to enter. However, this is currently the subject of discussions and could still change.
“The de facto blocking of the large and small German corner for Austrians is absolutely unacceptable. This measure by Bavaria is half-baked and only causes chaos,” said Interior Minister Karl Nehammer (ÖVP) in a statement to the APA on Sunday.
Schallenberg: “Excessive Steps”
Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg called for “measure and aim” for stricter measures and warned against “excessive steps that do more harm than good. I also told my German and Italian counterparts Heiko Maas and Luigi Di Maio that today,” said Schallenberg. Both the German and Italian ambassadors are expected to meet at the Foreign Ministry on Sunday.
Even 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 politician from Cyprus of the “Augsburger Allgemeine”. The German Interior Minister Seehofer had previously been indignant about critical remarks from the EU Commission.
Söder: “What nonsense”
The Austrian ÖVP MEP Barbara Thaler, who comes from Tyrol, said on Sunday: “The measures that Germany is now taking on the Bavarian border leave me speechless as a European who grew up in the border area. After the uncoordinated travel warning chaos, a German follows Going alone, who is looking for his own kind
Söder said on Sunday that the border controls did not mean the end of free Europe, as some said. “What a nonsense.” He is convinced that Europe will be strengthened if it succeeds now in preventing a new wave. Safety and protection are the top priority in these times. That is why it is correct to explain mutation areas and to introduce stationary border controls. A decaying second wave should not turn into a third one who stumbled upon himself. “We cannot allow the strict measures and the great behavior of the population to turn out to be pointless in retrospect.”
Exceptions for systemically important commuters
The entry ban for Tyroleans to Germany came into force on Sunday. Exceptions are only made for certain commuters if they are needed to maintain operations in systemically important industries.
Tyrol’s governor Günther Platter (ÖVP) continued to demand an exception for all Tyrolean commuters on Sunday. The current situation is “absolutely unacceptable”. In addition, “contrary to statements to the contrary, it is currently not possible to drive through the small and large German corner without stopping”. Someone who wants to travel from Tyrol to Salzburg or Vienna now has to avoid “large areas”. “Such a procedure is neither proportionate nor sensible,” said Platter angrily.
Italy is also tightening entry rules
Italy also tightened entry rules for Austrians on Sunday. Travelers from Austria to Italy have to undergo a corona test and a 14-day quarantine, a new regulation from Health Minister Roberto Speranza provides. The measures apply to every person who has stayed in Austria for a period of more than 12 hours.